37 votes

Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 3 discussion

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70 comments

  1. [34]
    Loire (edited ) Link
    The episode was terrible. Brilliant and exciting in a populist sense but terrible when given any thought. All that build up and character arc completions in the first two episodes and nobody...

    The episode was terrible. Brilliant and exciting in a populist sense but terrible when given any thought.

    All that build up and character arc completions in the first two episodes and nobody important but Theon dies? How many times did they encircle a main character in an impossible scenario and then let them out alive? Even the fucking Direwolf that ran into the front lines of the dead and never made another appearance in the episode, somehow survives into the next episode's preview. Why can't they dispense with the fan service in the final season?

    What the fuck was up with the lighting? You couldn't see shit for entire lengths of that episode.

    What was the purpose behind the White Walkers? Twenty two years of build up from the very first pages of the very first book, theory crafting, deep dives into the lore, continuous and overarching buildup through both the books and television show. Multiple prophecies. All ignored. What was Bran's arc? What did he do? What was his purpose? Why even include his arc in the show when all he did was confirm Jon's lineage? And what the fuck was he doing that entire episode? Just going for a last minute warg? What was the point of giving him this godlike power?

    And what the fuck was that ending? Arya teleports into the middle of the godswood, through a circle of wights and white walkers, completely unseen, drops in like a ninja from nowhere and prison shanks the Night King? That's it? That's the resolution after eight years?

    What the fuck was Melisandre around for? She revived Jon three years ago and then nothing. She lit the dothraki arakh's so they could create a fun visual effect and serve absolutely no purpose. Then she lit the trenches which did absolutely nothing. Was her entire purpose to give Arya a little nudge in the right direction? That's it?

    The battle was phenomenal. Fun as always. The implications for the narrative were terribly disappointing, and what makes it worse is this is probably the ending we will have to settle for. The books might never be finished and we may never get the answers.


    Edit:

    What the hell was the point of Rhaegars kidnapping of Lyanna if Jon was going to play no part in killing the Night King? Rhaegar literally kicked off the entirety of this series because he needed to birth a third child to ward of the existential threat of the Others. Jon's birth and the destruction that occurred because of it was predicated on the coming of the Others. He is the literal song of Ice and Fire. What did he die for? What was he resurrected for.

    I'm just so incredibly disappointed that none of the rich lore they've built across 8 seasons and the books had any impact on the final events whatsoever.

    43 votes
    1. CALICO Link Parent
      I loved this episode so much I should slap you for saying that. But you're right. The more I think about it, the less sense it makes. I really think the narrative is suffering from a lack of...

      I loved this episode so much I should slap you for saying that.
      But you're right.

      The more I think about it, the less sense it makes. I really think the narrative is suffering from a lack of source material. The whole show has dropped in quality since they surpassed ADWD, and everything now feels so rushed and empty.

      Is the War For The Dawn really over? That soon? Was that The Long Night?
      What was the point of half of everything? Are we really done with the Others that quickly? Is Arya tPTWP?
      If the next three episodes are just dealing with Cersei's rubbish I will shit myself.

      17 votes
    2. [6]
      Sahasrahla Link Parent
      I completely agree with you. At this point I'm just trying to enjoy the show for what it is, a high-budget fantasy-adventure show featuring the cast of some books I like. It will be disappointing...

      I completely agree with you. At this point I'm just trying to enjoy the show for what it is, a high-budget fantasy-adventure show featuring the cast of some books I like. It will be disappointing if this is the only resolution we get to this story but I'm trying to keep the attitude that it's better than nothing. And who knows, maybe with a lot of the pressure off GRRM will be better able to write.

      (But yeah, I'm glad to see someone mention Melisandre. It turns out her whole purpose was to be there to give Arya a little pep talk?)

      10 votes
      1. [5]
        roboticide Link Parent
        New meta-headcannon is D&D intentionally wrote a narratively unsatisfying ending so that GRRM now has a much lower bar for expectations and will actually finish the books.

        And who knows, maybe with a lot of the pressure off GRRM will be better able to write.

        New meta-headcannon is D&D intentionally wrote a narratively unsatisfying ending so that GRRM now has a much lower bar for expectations and will actually finish the books.

        8 votes
        1. [4]
          Amarok Link Parent
          It's such a missed opportunity for GRRM. The right way to do this was to release the books that weren't out yet in tandem with the series. They'd mow down sales records like wildfire. George...

          It's such a missed opportunity for GRRM. The right way to do this was to release the books that weren't out yet in tandem with the series. They'd mow down sales records like wildfire. George already said he's got 2k pages drafted, it's not like it's unfinished, it's just unpolished. Writing speed should increase towards the end because you're done inventing new shit and just wrapping up old shit. That's the stuff that writes itself. If GRRM has lost interest in the main story, that's fine too, there are acres of excellent ghostwriters out there who would be happy to breathe some fresh life into it and get it finished.

          What GRRM needs is two good editors with large chainsaws. Why is it that whenever an author becomes popular, they get this idea in their heads that the words they wrote are the best way to present the story? The books immediately explode with irrelevance - like all the unnecessarily detailed food descriptions in the books. Seems like every fantasy series does this, too, with wheel of time being the undisputed and eternal record-setting king of pointless, book-bloating drivel. That series should be half of its total length. I guess it's tolerated to pump page count and book numbers and sales, but it always ticks me off.

          The whole affair is just... badly managed. If I had a franchise to sell, after seeing this, I sure as hell wouldn't let HBO near it. Come to think of it, I doubt I'd let anyone near it, even Netflix. Take the book money and make your own studio, you can't possibly fuck it up more than the current business model does. :P

          4 votes
          1. [3]
            roboticide Link Parent
            I think the big issue is that he just doesn't want to cede control to anyone else, probably especially ghostwriters. He's already said if he dies he doesn't want anyone else finishing it. I'm...

            I think the big issue is that he just doesn't want to cede control to anyone else, probably especially ghostwriters. He's already said if he dies he doesn't want anyone else finishing it. I'm assuming the only reason we've gotten the stuff out of the show we have is HBO's legal team pointing out he's contractually obligated.

            Seems like every fantasy series does this, too, with wheel of time being the undisputed and eternal record-setting king of pointless, book-bloating drivel.

            I honestly wasn't even going to respond to this comment because it's been a week but then I read this and just went "Holy fuck I agree so much." I'm like 6 books in and I can't fucking believe how much of a slog it is. I'll probably finish it eventually but I keep taking breaks to read The Expanse novels instead. Which...

            If I had a franchise to sell, after seeing this, I sure as hell wouldn't let HBO near it. Come to think of it, I doubt I'd let anyone near it, even Netflix.

            The Expanse guys are doing pretty well with Sci-Fi and now presumably Amazon. They did the smart thing, by being part of the show-running team. I don't know if you watch it, but so far results have been great. The authors have even said they've used the show as an opportunity to revisit some characters and scenes and stuff and improve them, and its been pretty fantastic.

            1 vote
            1. [2]
              Amarok Link Parent
              I haven't, though it's likely to be the next binge watch I do after Thrones is over. Glad to hear that someone out there is still taking the time to put together a believable story. I'll be...

              I haven't, though it's likely to be the next binge watch I do after Thrones is over. Glad to hear that someone out there is still taking the time to put together a believable story. I'll be looking forward to it. :)

              1. roboticide Link Parent
                Uugh, honestly I'd almost say wait until the series is over, because at this point I'm so jaded about franchises that start off strong and end pathetically. However, the two authors have reliably...

                Uugh, honestly I'd almost say wait until the series is over, because at this point I'm so jaded about franchises that start off strong and end pathetically.

                However, the two authors have reliably churned out a novel every year or two, and the final one is already expected to drop next year. At the very least we'll have the books finished, and I'm optimistic enough about The Expanse I'd still recommend it.

    3. babypuncher Link Parent
      Jon was critical in getting all the pieces together for this battle to even happen (uniting the North, convincing Dany to help defend Winterfell). Just because he didn't personally kill the Night...

      Jon's birth and the destruction that occurred because of it was predicated on the coming of the Others. He is the literal song of Ice and Fire. What did he die for? What was he resurrected for.

      Jon was critical in getting all the pieces together for this battle to even happen (uniting the North, convincing Dany to help defend Winterfell). Just because he didn't personally kill the Night King doesn't mean he wasn't incredibly important.

      7 votes
    4. [11]
      teaearlgraycold Link Parent
      To actually wrap up the story lines at this point is a nearly impossible task. George picked to wait on perfection, while the show picks a more practical alternative. They close everything up in...

      To actually wrap up the story lines at this point is a nearly impossible task. George picked to wait on perfection, while the show picks a more practical alternative. They close everything up in the easiest way possible. They can count on the existing characters' plots to carry them in on inertia alone. As a non-book reader I'm content with this.

      5 votes
      1. [8]
        Loire Link Parent
        Nobody was expecting the show to be as lush and well written as the books... But... There was so much more they could do. Any, any exposition on the Others and their purpose beyond "destroy...

        Nobody was expecting the show to be as lush and well written as the books... But... There was so much more they could do.

        • Any, any exposition on the Others and their purpose beyond "destroy humanity" for no apparent reason. Have Bran do an exposition dump. That's all you need.

        • Have Arya follow tPTWP/Azor Azhai prophecy, which was mentioned earlier in the show. All that shit with Stannis and the Lord of Light for what? Have her stab Needle into Gendry or something, pull Needle out as Lightbringer. Anything at all. It's not like the show avoided the prophecy. They mentioned it multiple times and then decided to go with Arya and a slight of hand trick anyways.

        • Kill someone important! Theon dies, that was a great moment. Jorah might work for some fans out there. Does anyone give a shit about Edd? Or Lyanna Mormont? Why is Brienne or Pod still alive? Sam? Gilly? Tormund? Fucking Gendry? How did almost every named character survive the greatest battle humanity has ever seen?

        12 votes
        1. [3]
          Pilgrim Link Parent
          Was it though? Dani-face He sort of just suicided himself after running a fucking forty-yard dash. For some reason. He knew his attack wasn't going to help. He could have just stood there until...

          Theon dies, that was a great moment.

          Was it though? Dani-face

          He sort of just suicided himself after running a fucking forty-yard dash. For some reason.

          He knew his attack wasn't going to help. He could have just stood there until the Night King actually got within striking distance of Bran.

          6 votes
          1. mb3077 Link Parent
            I think that the intention was that Theon felt complete closure after being thanked by Bran. So he accepted his death and made a last heroic charge. It still is shoddy writing, but I think that...

            I think that the intention was that Theon felt complete closure after being thanked by Bran. So he accepted his death and made a last heroic charge.
            It still is shoddy writing, but I think that was what D&D were going for.

            5 votes
          2. Staross Link Parent
            I rolled my eyes at that scene, Bran should have told him to stand aside, he could have done one of his defeated look. Instead he tells him "You are a good man, thank you". Nice last words.

            I rolled my eyes at that scene, Bran should have told him to stand aside, he could have done one of his defeated look. Instead he tells him "You are a good man, thank you". Nice last words.

            2 votes
        2. [4]
          teaearlgraycold Link Parent
          I get some of your complaints, but Weren't the white walkers created specifically to kill all of humanity?

          I get some of your complaints, but

          Any, any exposition on the Others and their purpose beyond "destroy humanity" for no apparent reason. Have Bran do an exposition dump

          Weren't the white walkers created specifically to kill all of humanity?

          2 votes
          1. [3]
            Loire Link Parent
            Ya that's the suggestion the show made. Which is pretty much the exact opposite of what GRRM has stated he wants to do with the concept. I think we were all hoping they would ultimately do a...

            Ya that's the suggestion the show made. Which is pretty much the exact opposite of what GRRM has stated he wants to do with the concept. I think we were all hoping they would ultimately do a little more with it than "out of control weapon".

            The Night King vs 3ER plot seemed to have something to it but they never touched on it beyond "deleting humanities memories".

            4 votes
            1. CALICO Link Parent
              I can buy the Others being created by the Children of the Forest as a weapon against the First Men, and not being happy about being created. But as I recall (it's been a while) the Others show a...

              I can buy the Others being created by the Children of the Forest as a weapon against the First Men, and not being happy about being created. But as I recall (it's been a while) the Others show a semblance of culture or personality in the prologue of AGOT. Cheering on the fight with Ser Waymar, toying with him, allowing one survivor to escape. The shit with Craster.
              There's also lore with an Other woman marrying a Lord Commander as some kind of pact. There's Other-analogues suggested in the far east. There's information to support a further purpose than one dude so upset that he wants to hatefuck the world to death.

              6 votes
            2. Amarok Link Parent
              Alt Shift X's video East goes into just how wild and imaginative the world of ice and fire is. It's a good watch to get a sense of the scope of the mythology HBO is so casually throwing away.

              Alt Shift X's video East goes into just how wild and imaginative the world of ice and fire is. It's a good watch to get a sense of the scope of the mythology HBO is so casually throwing away.

              4 votes
      2. [2]
        MrGrey Link Parent
        Really? Flipping through the initial reactions on reddit this confused me to no end. It was an interesting visual experience but good god the plot. The entire encompassing arc since episode 1, the...

        As a non-book reader I'm content with this.

        Really? Flipping through the initial reactions on reddit this confused me to no end. It was an interesting visual experience but good god the plot. The entire encompassing arc since episode 1, the existential boogeyman lying in the shadows looming over the whole of humanity's power struggle. A primary source of lore of an entire civilization if not world, and boom resolved in 1 episode with a Shyamalan-esque level twist at the last moment.

        This has been referred to many times as the golden age of TV, but apparently solid plot writing requires platinum.

        5 votes
        1. teaearlgraycold Link Parent
          Or source material.

          solid plot writing requires platinum.

          Or source material.

          5 votes
    5. tomf Link Parent
      Oh my god... that sums it up. While I was watching the episode I was thinking that everything was amazing and really well done -- and it was, even though it was far too dark. Afterwards I was...

      What the fuck

      Oh my god... that sums it up. While I was watching the episode I was thinking that everything was amazing and really well done -- and it was, even though it was far too dark.

      Afterwards I was giving myself a haircut and I started thinking of a lot of the things you mentioned above. I liked that Arya got a good kill in, but they did a similar kill earlier. Her sneak attack was dope, but like you said, the logistics don't make a lick of sense.

      Of all the storylines in GoT, I was most excited to see Bran's turn out -- mainly because I thought around the second to last episode he'd warg into the dire wolves or something and we'd have this amazing 'Woodland Critter Christmas' meets GoT battle that would blow their CGI budget.

      This episode also completely destroyed my hopes of winning my death pool.

      Why were Dany and Jon hanging out by the cliff for so long instead of doing proper recon? They know that something is coming -- why not do something before they're at your gates? Ugh.

      All in all, great eye candy, but like the last few seasons, the logistics don't make sense. Thanks for laying it all out so nicely! :)

      4 votes
    6. [4]
      user2 Link Parent
      That's it? Melisandra indirectly won the battle against the death. That is no small feat. If it weren't for her, Arya wouldn've killed the Night king. EDIT: Also, you cry and cry on your post and...

      What the fuck was Melisandre around for? She revived Jon three years ago and then nothing. She lit the dothraki arakh's so they could create a fun visual effect and serve absolutely no purpose. Then she lit the trenches which did absolutely nothing. Was her entire purpose to give Arya a little nudge in the right direction? That's it?

      That's it? Melisandra indirectly won the battle against the death. That is no small feat. If it weren't for her, Arya wouldn've killed the Night king.

      EDIT: Also, you cry and cry on your post and I should remind you that this is not the season finale. Bran's arc is not yet over, nor is anyone's who is still alive.

      3 votes
      1. [3]
        mb3077 Link Parent
        How exactly? As stated above both the fiery swords and the fire trench did not help at all. Then what is left is the fact that she gave a pep talk to Arya to give her the encouragement to kill the...

        That's it? Melisandra indirectly won the battle against the death.

        How exactly? As stated above both the fiery swords and the fire trench did not help at all. Then what is left is the fact that she gave a pep talk to Arya to give her the encouragement to kill the Night King.
        So the only thing that saved humanity was Melisandre giving a 2 minute speech to Arya? Don't you think that this is terrible writing?

        3 votes
        1. [2]
          Sahasrahla Link Parent
          It was one hell of a pep talk though. Before it Arya could barely sneak past half a dozen wights in the library; after it, she was able to move undetected over a whole army of them and a host of...

          It was one hell of a pep talk though. Before it Arya could barely sneak past half a dozen wights in the library; after it, she was able to move undetected over a whole army of them and a host of White Walkers to jump out of a hole in the air and get the drop on the Night King.

          On a more serious note, it's disappointing that this show abandoned its own internal logic for the "rule of cool" that whatever is most awesome in any individual scene is what will happen regardless of if it makes sense in the broader context.

          8 votes
          1. nic Link Parent
            I thought "What do we say to the god of death?" line incredibly weak. They could have achieved a more believable or compelling catalyst for Arya to lose her composure then regain it. E.g. if she...

            I thought "What do we say to the god of death?" line incredibly weak.

            They could have achieved a more believable or compelling catalyst for Arya to lose her composure then regain it. E.g. if she had seen her lover die, lost it for a little, then seen Theon die trying to save Bran, and realized that no one was going to save her or her family except herself...

            Or just skip it entirely, and have an ending that didn't suck, like having secret hidden wildfire reserves that only Bran knew about, and Bran uses to take out the all the night kings while sacrificing himself in the bargain.

            4 votes
    7. roboticide Link Parent
      I assume this had something to do with covering for the vast amount of CGI needed. So, a possible answer to this, at least for the wights, is that much of the army seems to be directly controlled...

      What the fuck was up with the lighting? You couldn't see shit for entire lengths of that episode.

      I assume this had something to do with covering for the vast amount of CGI needed.

      And what the fuck was that ending? Arya teleports into the middle of the godswood, through a circle of wights and white walkers, completely unseen,

      So, a possible answer to this, at least for the wights, is that much of the army seems to be directly controlled by the Night King at times. The army entirely stopped at the trench, and then at his explicit command created the bridges. He has some sort of limit to his attention/abilities, and with his focus on Bran, the wights were essentially "idle". As for the other Walkers, bit less explainable, but presumably also taken with the moment.

      What the fuck was Melisandre around for? She revived Jon three years ago and then nothing. She lit the dothraki arakh's so they could create a fun visual effect and serve absolutely no purpose. Then she lit the trenches which did absolutely nothing. Was her entire purpose to give Arya a little nudge in the right direction? That's it?

      I mean, she was still important. Jon's survival, marshalling the North and bringing Dany and the dragons there was arguably still important, tactically. Without their leadership and the army there, presumably Arya never would have gotten the chance she did. Arya clearly was more in "flight" than "fight", and Melisandre did kind of motivate her.

      What the hell was the point of Rhaegars kidnapping of Lyanna if Jon was going to play no part in killing the Night King? Rhaegar literally kicked off the entirety of this series because he needed to birth a third child to ward of the existential threat of the Others. Jon's birth and the destruction that occurred because of it was predicated on the coming of the Others. He is the literal song of Ice and Fire. What did he die for? What was he resurrected for.

      As stated above, his resurrection was still instrumental, even though he didn't do the actual stabbing.

      Overall you're right though. The explanations that can be given are rather unsatisfactory, even if they do help explain the narrative choices. It should have all been more apparent, and not needed such obscure off-screen justification anyway.

      Presumably GRRM's notes were not super clear, and D&D were floundering a bit. I dunno.

      3 votes
    8. [3]
      TheJorro Link Parent
      I don't like doing the single-line quote and replies but it seems to be okay for this occasion. Please let me know if I've misunderstood or removed necessary context. I feel like the show is...

      I don't like doing the single-line quote and replies but it seems to be okay for this occasion. Please let me know if I've misunderstood or removed necessary context. I feel like the show is basically telling a bastardized version of what the books would do, so I'm trying to read between the lines. I just don't feel like I can take the show itself literally anymore, only figuratively, ever since the Arya/Sansa storyline from last season.

      What the fuck was up with the lighting? You couldn't see shit for entire lengths of that episode.

      I hear certain outlets had heavy compression problems. If anything, this season has been a crash course in a) the pitfalls of image quality compression, and b) why properly calibrating a display is important instead of using out-of-the-box configurations. The Blu-Ray releases should have carefully balanced picture quality, one hopes.

      What was the purpose behind the White Walkers? Twenty two years of build up from the very first pages of the very first book, theory crafting, deep dives into the lore, continuous and overarching buildup through both the books and television show. Multiple prophecies. All ignored.

      The book and the show seem to have two rather different ideas about what the White Walkers are, though. Neither of them have provided too much information about the background of them as well.

      And what the fuck was that ending? Arya teleports into the middle of the godswood, through a circle of wights and white walkers, completely unseen, drops in like a ninja from nowhere and prison shanks the Night King? That's it? That's the resolution after eight years?

      Sure, why not? That's what we spent eight years watching her learn how to do. We even got a sequence this episode showing how stealthy she can be. We've been seeing her sneak up on people for the last season and a half in preparation for her ninja skills. The Godswood is also right outside the library, so she had plenty of time to get in position. She also snuck up on Jon in that exact spot previously. The White Walkers also don't seem to have all that much autonomy too, and we did see one react to the gust of wind that was Arya, but not react quickly.

      She lit the dothraki arakh's so they could create a fun visual effect and serve absolutely no purpose. Then she lit the trenches which did absolutely nothing.

      Fire kills wights. The Dothraki dying off early wasn't really related to the fire-based arakhs. If anything, the question is how the Dothraki planned to fight the horde without flaming or dragonglass weapons. The trenches had a pretty significant effect though, it bought the longest reprieve in the entire battle.

      Was her entire purpose to give Arya a little nudge in the right direction? That's it?

      Seems like. I feel like this was something the show didn't account for until it was too late, since they knew for a long time that Mel would have to play a significant part in this battle but wrote themselves into a corner with her too early and had to solve it the way we got on screen.

      What the hell was the point of Rhaegars kidnapping of Lyanna if Jon was going to play no part in killing the Night King? Rhaegar literally kicked off the entirety of this series because he needed to birth a third child to ward of the existential threat of the Others. Jon's birth and the destruction that occurred because of it was predicated on the coming of the Others. He is the literal song of Ice and Fire. What did he die for? What was he resurrected for.

      I feel like that's still true, but the Night King was more than well aware and was avoiding it. He really seemed like he knew Jon, and perhaps because he was familiar with Jon as Azor Ahai. Bran said that the NK had come many times before for him, and we see that the NK has plenty of hubris. Perhaps in one of the previous attempts, he overconfidently went toe-to-toe with Azor Ahai and get trounced, which is why he tries his best to avoid Jon in direct combat. He never once tried to challenge Jon and specifically went out of his way to avoid doing it. I feel like this subversion of a recurring prophecy is exactly the kind of thing that would happen in the greater Game of Thrones lore.

      3 votes
      1. [2]
        Loire Link Parent
        The books don't subvert for subversion's sake and they don't (usually) completely ignore the in-universe prophecies and mysticism. The most famous "subversion's" in Ned's death, and the Red...

        feel like that's still true, but the Night King was more than well aware and was avoiding it. He really seemed like he knew Jon, and perhaps because he was familiar with Jon as Azor Ahai. Bran said that the NK had come many times before for him, and we see that the NK has plenty of hubris. Perhaps in one of the previous attempts, he overconfidently went toe-to-toe with Azor Ahai and get trounced, which is why he tries his best to avoid Jon in direct combat. He never once tried to challenge Jon and specifically went out of his way to avoid doing it. I feel like this subversion of a recurring prophecy is exactly the kind of thing that would happen in the greater Game of Thrones lore.

        The books don't subvert for subversion's sake and they don't (usually) completely ignore the in-universe prophecies and mysticism. The most famous "subversion's" in Ned's death, and the Red Wedding were perfectly logical extensions of the story. It was a subversion of the bad plot armor fantasy writers give there characters, but it wasn't out of the blue or untelegraphed. Robb was a teenager in rebellion against the crown holding together a tenuous and disparate group of leaders. He made a teenagers mistake and suffered the consequences. Ned was a honorable man from a fief where politics and skullduggery were not practiced. He thought he could get around playing the game, even despite the deadly serious nature of the knowledge he had, and he was murdered for it. The Valonqar prophecy has come true, as far as I can tell without subversion.

        With all that said, if your theory concerning avoiding Jon is correct, that would be wonderful! Except the show made no allusion to that whatsoever. It's entirely fan theory. It's you being forced to make up a scenario to make the events of the show make sense.

        If they wanted Arya to kill the Night King, that's fine, but they should have put in the footwork. At least put in effective footwork. You talk about what we watched her learn how to do. We watched her learn to manipulate humans and wear magical face masks. We watched her learn to fight with a staff. We didn't watch her learn how to sprint past a tight circle of hundreds of wights and however many White Walkers so as to shockingly kill the eldritch demi-god with a prison shank. The masks weren't used. No manipulation occurred. She didn't sneak anywhere, and even if she had there was a full 360° of creatures with vision surrounding the Night King.

        She sprinted in, somehow faster than any human has been shown moving on the show, faster than any of the White Walkers could see, leapt at the big bad, and when he caught her, she pulled a cute slight of hand trick and shanked him. That's not what we were shown during her development (aside from the dagger drop trick which they seeded last season).

        4 votes
        1. TheJorro Link Parent
          I find it hard to reconcile what the show does with what the books would do specifically because GRRM is so much better about pacing and nuance than the show is. That's why I have to take what I...

          I find it hard to reconcile what the show does with what the books would do specifically because GRRM is so much better about pacing and nuance than the show is. That's why I have to take what I see in the show figuratively. I believe they have the broad strokes plot but none of the details about the journey from A to B.

          So yeah, I agree the books would handle such a subversion much better if that theory is accurate. I won't make claims for its accuracy though, I just want to point out that it's not quite as thrown away as we may have been shown. I'm sort of filling in the blanks with how GRRM might approach Arya being the one to handle the White Walkers but there are a lot of mitigating factors e.g. there's no NK in the books.

          At this point, I'm basically watching the show to see how the plot ends but I'm still waiting for the books to see how the story truly unfolds.

          2 votes
    9. NaraVara Link Parent
      Yeah. So many of the dangling plot threads were just left dangling. The Azor Ahai prophecy went nowhere. None of the foreshadowing seemed to have materialized into anything. For what it's worth...

      Yeah. So many of the dangling plot threads were just left dangling. The Azor Ahai prophecy went nowhere. None of the foreshadowing seemed to have materialized into anything.

      For what it's worth though, the series never leaned as heavily on the deeper theories in the books. Once we cleared the Red Wedding it mostly just started pulling surface level stuff from the plot and just focused on character drama.

      1 vote
    10. nic Link Parent
      Excellent comment. Too many questions jarred me out of the immersive experience. Why aren't the dragons engaged earlier on? Why is everyone on the outside of the castle walls? Why isn't the castle...

      Excellent comment.

      Too many questions jarred me out of the immersive experience.

      Why aren't the dragons engaged earlier on?

      Why is everyone on the outside of the castle walls?

      Why isn't the castle better designed to withstand hordes of the undead?

      How on earth did Ser Jorah & Brienne just survive that?

      On the whole, I expected more significant characters to die.

      I also thought we would end the episode on a cliff hanger, that would be neatly but unexpectedly resolved in the next episode.

      1 vote
    11. RapidEyeMovement (edited ) Link Parent
      The "writers" of the series are not good at their job unless they have source material to adapt. They do a good job at adapting the material, but any thing else is dreadfully awful. Watch the...

      The "writers" of the series are not good at their job unless they have source material to adapt. They do a good job at adapting the material, but any thing else is dreadfully awful.

      Watch the first season, then watch the 7th season, there is a comical shift in tone, pacing and character development. Also Everyone has plot armor.

      EDIT: Also my personal theory is George decided to let HBO finish the series, so he could take back control and write his own ending. Using the parts that did work, and re-writing the part that didn't. It gives him the freedom to work the story his way, with a little more insight into how others would have done it.

      1 vote
    12. [2]
      qwertz Link Parent
      I'm prepared to withhold judgment of this episode until we see the next. I'm hoping there's some twist. But if there isn't I'm going to be super disappointed.

      I'm prepared to withhold judgment of this episode until we see the next. I'm hoping there's some twist. But if there isn't I'm going to be super disappointed.

      1. nic Link Parent
        You mean like the entire thing was a dream sequence, and in reality everyone ends up dead? Or they accidentally showed one of the fake alternate endings, and will end up showing the real ending?

        You mean like the entire thing was a dream sequence, and in reality everyone ends up dead?

        Or they accidentally showed one of the fake alternate endings, and will end up showing the real ending?

  2. [6]
    Amarok Link
    Well, so much for the Night King. What a fucking casual, Vecna would make mincemeat out of that sissy. The part I liked was that the undead attacked properly. What was disappointing was that there...

    Well, so much for the Night King. What a fucking casual, Vecna would make mincemeat out of that sissy. The part I liked was that the undead attacked properly. What was disappointing was that there was a rather shit battle plan on the part of the defenders.

    John and Edd and Sam and Tormund have all seen these things fight and should have known their tactics stone cold - they only have one trick. That's the downside of zombie hordes... if you know what you're doing, they aren't that hard to beat especially if you have time to prepare and ground to yield. Winterfell has both in spades, it was built for this.

    The dragons should have been out front to support the Dothraki charge and strafe fire to guard their flanks. They should have lead by carving up the undead into separate sections, unable to progress without passing through either a flaming trench or a wall of dragon fire. Spin the horsemen around Winterfell like a meat grinder. Give the Dothraki smaller groups to handle, room to breathe, and they won't get swarmed and would probably do pretty damn well for themselves.

    We'll just skip over horseback fighting in a snowstorm and how many broken legs that's going to be for your horses. Dothraki in winter isn't exactly a home terrain advantage. They are good archers, so they have a place other than sliding into an undead meat grinder on horseback.

    The surprise snowstorm was a good tactic, though. The instant that shit dropped it was time to get inside the castle. The unsullied were used effectively, but some larger shields, and long pikes that could reach over the fire pit (like the 3-man pikes the boltons used in the battle of the bastards) would have been better. That would allow the unsullied to attack the dead more effectively. They hold the line until the Dothraki are back inside, then burn the trenches and fall back themselves.

    You get your Dothraki on the wall with short bows which they already know how to use, as we saw when dany wrekt the lannister army. For fuck's sake, there should have been some burning oil up there too, they've had how many seasons to know this was coming and that fire kills the dead? Yet no oil? Couldn't manage a pit stop somewhere, get all the lords to bring their own? Burning the dead as they corpse-pile up the walls is the next step. Get those piles roaring like a nice bonfire. When they get close, hit them with the oil, and when the giants come for the gate, light them up too. In fact, booby-trap the gate so that when you blow it, it's sealed, bring the walls down to fill the gap. Keep the dragons circling close to the castle, and burning the base of the walls.

    You know you can't stop the dead, but you can make them pay dearly, and multiple times, for every inch of ground... so the whole fight has to be a controlled fallback, step by step, luring the dead into ground you've prepared for them. You have to slow them down and then burn them down as you yield ground... and hope you have enough ground to yield.

    As they break in and over the walls, the unsullied are now refreshed and ready in the courtyard. They hold the gate, with more help from burning oil if necessary. Dothraki surviving jump down and join them. Torch the tops of the walls before abandoning them to buy some more time for troops to catch their breath and prepare. Keep pounding them with dragon glass arrows when they get through.

    Pull everyone back into the buildings so the undead's numbers don't count for so much now, defending each one and also making it into a firebomb trap so the last guy alive can do what Edd suggested, and burn them all. Fuck the castle, you can build another one if you live. Once the courtyard is clear, light that fucker up with dragon fire yet again, and do another pass around the walls. Frankly, at this point, 100k undead should be dust. They go real fast. If you haven't stopped them here, welp, thanks for playing, you get a last stand in the crypt and it's game over.

    Some wildfire would have been hella useful here to mine the field for a fuck-you firestorm once everyone came back inside the walls, but they didn't really have an opportunity to get wildfire. I refuse to believe they couldn't get oil, though - that's shittastic writing. I could accept that maybe they didn't want to risk burning their set and crews to the ground, though. That shit is tricky to work with in filming.

    While all that is going on, the NK should be sacking king's landing, so that Winterfell turns into a phyrric victory. Once the army defending the landing has fallen, the NK can march it right back to Winterfell and hit them again, only this time they've got no chance in hell of surviving a second attack. Presumably the survivors would have moved on to Pike by then, and that might make for a tricky fight if the dead have real trouble with water - they certainly can't corpse-pile up a cliff face.

    If that's the case, you leave them at Pike, and finish off king's landing and the rest of the continent. At that point, your numbers are untouchable. A no point and for no reason should the NK ever even be in the same zip code of the people he's killing with his armies. If the three eyed raven dies last, who cares? Still dead, and a more patient, savory victory it is.

    Kings landing offered a handy way to wipe out the dead, too. That entire city is one gargantuan fire trap waiting to be set off. If you can lure most of the dead into the city, you can take out almost the entire army, and that's when you go hunting the NK. Frankly, I expect GRRM's version of these events is going to play out more along these lines. I wonder if the show avoided all the prophecies and proper, lore-based solutions (like dany's sacrifice etc) just so he can do them right, unspoiled, in the books. That does kinda make sense.

    Yeah, wiping out half the continent and a million plus people (potentially) is a high price, but do you want to save the world, or do you want to fuck around and wring your hands? True necromancy is a world-ending threat, after all.

    Yes, my players fucking hate it when I GM them against undead hordes. Kinda my thing, and I make them work for it, far far worse than this. ;)

    Anyway, all that said...

    I enjoyed it. That was a pretty fucking impressive battle and it kept up the tension. Lack of main character deaths is a bit limp, though. I have no problem with Arya taking out the NK, that's what she's built to do and if you get a shot at your true necromancer, you don't fuck it up. I was a bit surprised that valyrian steel dropped his ass like a walker, though. I figured it could hurt him, but not one-shot him. Lyanna went out like a fucking boss, that was great.

    22 votes
    1. [2]
      roboticide Link Parent
      Your cavalry and unsullied points were good, but that's still only half of it. WHO THE FUCK decided it'd be a good idea to put the siege engines up at the front?!? "This baby will lob a ball of...

      Your cavalry and unsullied points were good, but that's still only half of it.

      WHO THE FUCK decided it'd be a good idea to put the siege engines up at the front?!?

      "This baby will lob a ball of exploding firey pitch 100 yards, and continue to do so as long as it's manned. We could potentially kill thousands of undead over the course of a long battle."

      "Put it on the front line, where we'll fire off five rounds, then immediately abandon it."

      Trench > Unsullied > Siege Weapons, with Dothraki in reserve. I get the plan was to lure the Night King in, but you could have left the defenses on the godswood weaker, and also he has Viserion.

      7 votes
      1. Amarok Link Parent
        Indeed. When the dragons go out front supporting the charge, they need to make a wall of fire to split the undead so the dothraki have a chance without being swarmed. Those siege engines should be...

        Indeed. When the dragons go out front supporting the charge, they need to make a wall of fire to split the undead so the dothraki have a chance without being swarmed. Those siege engines should be relentlessly pounding everything out past the area where the dragons are doing crowd control for the dothraki. They don't stop firing for one second.

        Given all the forests around Winterfell, and depending on how the dead approach, it may have been useful to set all of the forests on fire. Even if that didn't burn many of the dead, it provides light, the heat would seriously fuck with the blizzard - turning it into a firestorm in some places - and it'd also help range targets in the darkness.

        7 votes
    2. [2]
      hungariantoast Link Parent
      I agree, this was a tactical failure by the defenders (they won, but at what cost?) and a strategic failure by the Night King. Assuming the Night King can control two armies of the dead a...

      I agree, this was a tactical failure by the defenders (they won, but at what cost?) and a strategic failure by the Night King.

      Assuming the Night King can control two armies of the dead a continent apart, it really would make more sense to hold Winterfell down with a token force and take the bigger prize that is King's Landing. He doesn't even need to attack or take Winterfell, he just needs to stall and besiege them. (Which, to be fair, the Night King couldn't take Winterfell without removing Dany's dragons from the battle, so there's no hope of doing anything more than stalling the defenders without his direct presence.)

      I honestly think the only reason this episode went down the way it did is that too many people predicted and would have known that the Night King was heading for King's Landing if he wasn't on screen at Winterfell in this episode.

      Perhaps they could have shown him in the very beginning of the battle, have the defenders almost lose to the dead anyways, but clutch at the last second, only to find the Night King and the main force have completely skirted around them in the chaos? Nah.

      As for the defense of Winterfell, yeah, we have what is by far the most qualified and experienced contingent of people available for fighting the Army of the Dead. They know how large the army is, they know the capabilities of the horde of undead, how they can stack up against walls, they know how they swarm opponents and overwhelm them more than anything else.

      So, having the Dothraki charge head first into an immensely larger force that all the commanders knew would not react like a regular, living force, but instead swarm and overwhelm them, was pathetic, and I'm pretty sure the flagrant waste of life happened only to give the show an excuse for Dany to abandon the plan.

      However, while having the Dothraki charge head first was about as dumb as dumb gets, the artillery being out in front still takes the cake.

      I can't fucking describe how annoyed I am that the most expensive show in history made such an amateur mistake. I simply can't believe it was on accident. There must have been budget, time, or space constraints on set that required the artillery to be where it was, but it left such an awful taste in my mouth. I guess their CGI budget just couldn't afford sustained artillery action.

      Like, I'm not even trying to be an armchair general here or anything, it's just common sense that a token cavalry force is going to get swamped by an unyielding, larger force of soldiers and for millennia now we've known not to put artillery in the front lines, both in the real world and in the GOT world.

      The only reason I can possibly see for wanting them out in front was that they had a limited amount of ammunition anyways and were confident they could fire it all before the dead hit them, and wanted the spent artillery structures to act as barriers to break up the dead's charge. Didn't work that well did it?

      Other than the tactical failures, I'm actually okay with how this episode turned out, even with the smaller number of deaths that we got.

      Unlike others, I actually cared about Edd and Beric dying, almost as much as I cared about Jorah.

      I would have loved if the heroes were actually competent defenders and still almost lost though. It would make Arya's moment, the scene of everyone being on the precipice of death, and just the entire battle that much better.

      The battle lasted from dusk till dawn anyways. They had plenty of time for meaningful interactions and battle scenes with a competent defense. I really think the only reason we didn't see beefier fortifications and more tactics and movements from the defenders is because the show couldn't pay for them. They couldn't get the dragons flying around all episode spitting fire, the Dothraki charging up and down lines, oil on the walls, and whatever else a proper defense would have called for.

      I want to blame what I perceive as failures and shortcomings on practical limitations, such as time, budget, and set space restraints. I want to say that they just didn't have the money for all those CGI fireballs, that Game of Thrones is too big and too ambitious for its time, and that they should have pulled a George Lucas and waited for the technology (and the books) to ease the path the show forged, but The Two Towers came out seventeen years ago.

      I expected something that could best Helm's Deep. I leave disappointed.

      6 votes
      1. Amarok Link Parent
        Seems like the walkers can also exert control over the dead, and raise them. I saw on /r/gameofthrones someone ran the math on how many walkers could be out there, based just on Craster's...

        Seems like the walkers can also exert control over the dead, and raise them. I saw on /r/gameofthrones someone ran the math on how many walkers could be out there, based just on Craster's contributions, and it was approaching a hundred of them. There's no way Craster was the only one providing them with babies. There could have potentially been several hundred or even low-thousands of walkers out there. Even just with Craster's walkers, that's enough to at least split the army in two.

        Those walkers should also be armed with ice lances and sniping dragons at every opportunity. Aim for the wings, get them grounded, and the wights can tear them apart with their bare hands. I'm not sure what GoT's limits on dragon fire are, but in every RPG I've ever seen there are always limits to how much breath weapon mojo any given dragon possesses - except for the undead ones. The dragons would eventually tire and be taken down. The walkers could bring them back and turn them on Winterfell.

        Given Dany's magical ability to dragon-teleport across the world in between single scenes, having the NK put in an appearance at Winterfell (which I think would be necessary for the storm control) and then bugger off with a grin just when the defenders think they've won would be in character for him, I think. Why kill the three eyed raven up front when you can torture him with defeat over, and over, and over, until there's nothing left alive and nothing left for him to see? Kill him from the inside, and only then put him down. If the NK has a real hate on for 3R that's the way to satisfy it.

        Honestly, all the NK would need to do to win at Winterfell is simply put a few holes in the walls with Viserion. Without those walls it's game fucking over no matter what the defenders do. He could do that with one pass in less than three minutes and near-zero exposure to the other dragons, which are the only real threat to his dragon.

        Sloppy writing, and I'm with you, it's likely budget related. There's no way in hell the writers are actually this stupid, and even if they were, it's not like they couldn't hire ye random battle geek to set them straight. Hollywood technology is still laughably inadequate to the challenge of filming even many of the tamer science fiction and fantasy concepts that are out there.

        I'd bet HBO wants to put that money into the post-GoT shows coming up - they already have four other GoT properties in development. It's going to become the 'game of thrones' network for a while.

        5 votes
    3. Pilgrim Link Parent
      I wish you wrote the episode!

      I wish you wrote the episode!

      1 vote
  3. Ellimist Link
    Unpopular opinion, it seems, but I was actually overjoyed that so many of the main characters survived. Slightly heartbroken over the loss of Lyanna Mormont as I think she was a great character...

    Unpopular opinion, it seems, but I was actually overjoyed that so many of the main characters survived. Slightly heartbroken over the loss of Lyanna Mormont as I think she was a great character but it also means that House Mormont is now extinct in the show, barring the show bringing in any new Mormont characters which exist in the novels.

    I get that the Night King was this big bad boogeyman but, to be quite honest, one thing I hate in any medium is how characters are tossed aside simply because their arc is complete or there suddenly isn't anything for them to do. Case in point, Brienne. Everyone was saying she was going to die because she was knighted and her primary desire achieved. But why should that mean she has to die? She swore an oath to Catelyn to protect her daughters and as long as Cersei is still around, Sansa is at risk. Especially now that the Northerners and Daenerys's armies are considerably depleted while Cersei has the Lannister force, 20k men in the Golden Company, and the Greyjoy fleet. Cersei would love to get her hands on Sansa's neck so Brienne still has a job to do.

    But I'll admit that I get irrationally irritated at characters being killed off. I despised the Bayformers films for it, not just because they were awful and an insult to the Transformers franchise but his predilection for killing off Autobots). We've spent years watching them grow and change. We've seen Podrick Payne(and his magic cock) grow from basically First Four Books Neville Longbottom into Last Three Books Neville but much more bad ass. We've seen Brienne the Beauty turn into Brienne the Knight. Jaime goes from one of the most hated characters to one of the most loved.

    Now that doesn't mean I'm opposed to characters dying, I just want it be for reasons other than "Their arc is complete". Theon's arc and subsequent redemption and death made total sense. Every Stark alive, he had managed to earn forgiveness from and atone for his sins. Well, except Arya but that's probably just because none of Theons actions directly affected her, at least not to the level of Sansa or Bran. Bran was the final Stark Theon needed forgiveness from and giving his life to protect Bran to the last was poetic.

    13 votes
  4. Adys (edited ) Link
    Very disappointed with how few major characters died this episode. Brienne and Greyworm both have a ridiculous amount of plot armor for two characters whose arcs are complete and who are very...

    Very disappointed with how few major characters died this episode.

    Brienne and Greyworm both have a ridiculous amount of plot armor for two characters whose arcs are complete and who are very clearly slated to die. Same with Gendry.

    Of the "characters we care about", Theon died (from the NK himself), and Jorah died (after winning the fight). Zero major character deaths from the wight horde which seems ridiculous.

    Kind of underwhelmed with what happened in the crypts. Okay so they were unsafe as everyone was saying, but basically nothing happened there. Nobody important died. Sansa didn't even use the blade Arya gave her.

    I'm very disappointed with how safe the show has become. Regardless, it was a beautiful and intense episode, but I don't think it even breaks into the top 5 best episodes, barely into the top 10.

    Lyanna was my favourite death. Badass girl.

    Also, unlike Alt Shift X (who's currently topping 60k viewers on his livestream!), I'm happy with Arya killing the Night King. She is probably the most vicious and powerful assassin at Winterfell. I don't think the book's prophecies have had enough focus on the show for them to really matter.

    12 votes
  5. [2]
    Sahasrahla Link
    I liked this episode, so I don't mean this as a negative, but it feels like a lot of story was cut from the Night King plot line. We've been building up the Others since the opening scene of the...

    I liked this episode, so I don't mean this as a negative, but it feels like a lot of story was cut from the Night King plot line. We've been building up the Others since the opening scene of the entire series and we've spent a lot of time up north with the Night's Watch and Beyond the Wall following Jon, Bran, etc. as they've prepared for and learned about the coming threat. GRRM has also said that the Others weren't just mindlessly evil for the sake of evil and there were enough hints about their true nature and what role they would play for a lot of fan exegesis over the years.

    Now, though, it feels like that whole story line has built up to and ended with a one episode battle sequence. What purpose did it play in the larger story? It gave Jon something to do until he became the King in the North, it gave him and Dany an excuse to work together, and it weakened their army enough to make things interesting in the fight with Cersei. It feels like the whole thing could have been cut without affecting the rest of the story all that much.

    Part of the problem is from trying to wrap up this giant TV show in a reasonable way but I think the heart of the problem comes from GRRM's books. He wanted to tell the story of a bunch of feuding lords fighting over a throne only to have dragons and ice zombies overrun them and show how unimportant their 'game of thrones' really was, but it hasn't worked out that way. If you look at his original outline for the planned trilogy it was supposed to go like:

    1. A Game of Thrones: Great houses fighting over the Iron Throne.
    2. A Dance with Dragons: Dany shows up with dragons and tries to take over the Seven Kingdoms.
    3. The Winds of Winter: The Others and their undead army descend from the north and try to kill everyone.

    GRRM is famously a "discovery" writer though and what he discovered was that he wanted to spend the majority of the series telling the first part of his planned trilogy. For 5 books most of the focus has been on the "Game of Thrones" aspect and it's (apparently) only in the next planned book that any of the other plot threads (Jon Snow and the Others, Dany and the dragons) really start to interact with the political shenanigans in Westeros that it turns out the series is mostly about.

    Again, I'm not meaning to complain about this. I think the show did the best they could in a tight spot and it's still entertaining. I'm just hoping at this point that future books will provide some answers and resolution that are missing from the show.

    10 votes
    1. deciduous Link Parent
      I think you kinda hit the nail on the head about why so much of this season feels unearned. There's a pretty big disconnect between a story about feudal lords fighting over a crown while the...

      I think you kinda hit the nail on the head about why so much of this season feels unearned. There's a pretty big disconnect between a story about feudal lords fighting over a crown while the peasants suffer and an army of dead fighting against dragons. Any conclusion other than "the feudal lords get absolutely destroyed and their squabbles made pointless" feels unrealistic. And a tv show realistically just can't go down that route and have it feel good for most viewers.

      5 votes
  6. [2]
    spctrvl Link
    8 seasons of buildup to the Night King and Cersei's the end boss? I guess it could be Euron too, but since there's none of the buildup for his ascension to godhood plotline that was in the books,...

    8 seasons of buildup to the Night King and Cersei's the end boss? I guess it could be Euron too, but since there's none of the buildup for his ascension to godhood plotline that was in the books, I can't see that happening and doubt it would be satisfying if it did. I hope there's something more going on, but every time I've hoped that in the past I've been disappointed. Guess we'll know in a few weeks.

    10 votes
    1. GoingMerry Link Parent
      This is the exact point I made to my wife after we watched the episode! She said, "You seem disappointed." and I said, "Cersei's the big bad?!?" It's extremely disappointing to me. I guess you...

      This is the exact point I made to my wife after we watched the episode! She said, "You seem disappointed." and I said, "Cersei's the big bad?!?"

      It's extremely disappointing to me. I guess you could say that since she holds the throne, she's the best, but she's always been the most inept character in the series.

  7. [4]
    SuperGracchiBros (edited ) Link
    Echoing the disappointment about how few main characters died in this episode. It felt very safe, very Hollywood. I have no idea why Gendry in particular survived. He's a pretty good blacksmith,...

    Echoing the disappointment about how few main characters died in this episode. It felt very safe, very Hollywood. I have no idea why Gendry in particular survived. He's a pretty good blacksmith, but somehow he's become an elite warrior?
    I like the way the episode was shot. I think the fogginess and darkness were effective in creating a spooky and confusing atmosphere. I was suitably tense for the first third of the episode. But again, the lack of main character deaths started to break my immersion.
    Amazing cinematography, meh storytelling.
    And the Night Kings sloow walk to Bran was cringe inducing.

    8 votes
    1. mb3077 Link Parent
      He was not the only person who should 100% have died. Sam, Brienne, Jamie and Davos were literally in the middle of the undead horde for a good 20-30 minutes. How did not one of them die? Atleast...

      I have no idea why Gendry in particular survived. He's a pretty good blacksmith, but somehow he's become an elite warrior?

      He was not the only person who should 100% have died. Sam, Brienne, Jamie and Davos were literally in the middle of the undead horde for a good 20-30 minutes. How did not one of them die? Atleast Sam? He has almost zero fighting experience and zero agility. I assume that any untrained person would collapse from fatigue after fending off a horde of undead for half an hour while wearing heavy armor?

      And what about Arya? Sure she is trained to be a great assassin, but an assassin in not a warrior. Arya went through 30-40 undead, slashing and pushing them around WHILE WEIGHING 45KG.. Since when a teenage assassin can decimate a horde of undead alone?

      4 votes
    2. [2]
      Staross Link Parent
      The worse part is every other shot showing an important character fighting dozens of undeads while everybody else dies in the other shots. Like they are superheroes. They should have mixed it up...

      It felt very safe, very Hollywood.

      The worse part is every other shot showing an important character fighting dozens of undeads while everybody else dies in the other shots. Like they are superheroes. They should have mixed it up more, showing no-names doing heroic stuff and heroes shitting themselves or retreating (since they didn't want to kill them).

      3 votes
      1. SuperGracchiBros Link Parent
        Exactly! I thought the point of Ned and Drogo and Robb (and others) dying was to show that no one is special and survives just because they're the cool protagonist. Nobody's life is worth more...

        Exactly! I thought the point of Ned and Drogo and Robb (and others) dying was to show that no one is special and survives just because they're the cool protagonist. Nobody's life is worth more than anyone else's, not a king or a general or whatever. But somehow twenty people survive the battle, and they're all friends of the Stark kids?

        3 votes
  8. base_class Link
    I just wish the night King was given like one line before he died. We've been waiting for years to see what he's up to. Like why does he really give a fuck about personally killing Bran so much...

    I just wish the night King was given like one line before he died. We've been waiting for years to see what he's up to. Like why does he really give a fuck about personally killing Bran so much that he had to risk his life for it. Could've just watched from his Ice dragon as someone else killed him. Just flick his wrist and a few more corpses come to life and send them over... He's got an infinite supply.

    6 votes
  9. emdash Link
    What an anticlimactic ending to what could only otherwise be described as "the boss" of the entire Game of Thrones storyline they've been hyping for seven seasons now. Incredibly disappointing....

    What an anticlimactic ending to what could only otherwise be described as "the boss" of the entire Game of Thrones storyline they've been hyping for seven seasons now. Incredibly disappointing. It's almost like the writers kind of got sick of it and had to finally put the nail in this coffin, and they did it as plainly as they could.

    Apparently it's too much to ask for even a simple explanation as to just what the White Walkers & Night King wanted.

    6 votes
  10. [4]
    CALICO Link
    That.. was a lot to process. One thing I'd like to say, is how much I really appreciated the catspaw blade paying off. Talk about a Chekhov's Gun. edit: is Ghost dead?

    That.. was a lot to process.

    One thing I'd like to say, is how much I really appreciated the catspaw blade paying off. Talk about a Chekhov's Gun.

    edit: is Ghost dead?

    5 votes
    1. [3]
      teaearlgraycold Link Parent
      Ghost is in the preview for the next episode.

      Ghost is in the preview for the next episode.

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        CALICO Link Parent
        God I didn't even notice that.

        God I didn't even notice that.

        2 votes
        1. Ellimist Link Parent
          It's a "blink and you'll miss it" moment and Ghost is standing behind Jon so he's even harder to notice. I wouldn't have noticed it myself had someone not posted a screenshot on Reddit

          It's a "blink and you'll miss it" moment and Ghost is standing behind Jon so he's even harder to notice. I wouldn't have noticed it myself had someone not posted a screenshot on Reddit

          1 vote
  11. bub Link
    A lot has been said about the plot weaknesses, and I just wanted to add a little about the technical weaknesses, which included: Riding out to meet the enemy in an open field when they had an...

    A lot has been said about the plot weaknesses, and I just wanted to add a little about the technical weaknesses, which included:

    Riding out to meet the enemy in an open field when they had an intact castle behind them.
    Proceeding to defend that open field until most of their troops were gone.
    Placing the siege weaponry in front of that doomed line of defense in that same field.
    Many bits of plate armor slashed through or thrust through like butter with swords.

    5 votes
  12. Apos (edited ) Link
    I really hope the theories I saw about Bran being the Night King end up being true. It will make this episode be slightly better in retrospect.

    I really hope the theories I saw about Bran being the Night King end up being true. It will make this episode be slightly better in retrospect.

    4 votes
  13. deknalis (edited ) Link
    I think the central conceit of the story, the subversion and grounding of Tolkien and standard fantasy, has caught up to itself, and the show is finally circling itself into standard fantasy. The...

    I think the central conceit of the story, the subversion and grounding of Tolkien and standard fantasy, has caught up to itself, and the show is finally circling itself into standard fantasy.
    The obvious point of comparison seems to be The Last Jedi, regarding the general direction of the show as well as the killing of the Night King specifically. The Last Jedi was built partially on subversion, and the killing of the Night King seems to follow a similar pattern of subversion: eliminating a overhanging mythological threat to focus instead on the interpersonal relationships of the characters. It seems to almost borrow from The Last Jedi directly. But it feels to me like the show missed the fact that it was already the Last Jedi of fantasy, already the subversive and introspective answer to standard medieval fantasy tropes. Moments like the death of Ned Stark or the red wedding already spoke to its power of subversion and the lack of formulaic assumptions of immortality, and elements of the subversion such as the show's lack of care for audience expectations were almost gleefully accepted by audiences. The edgy subversive fantasy show that was built around the grounded logistics and realistic horrors of medieval fantasy, and a rejection of normal fantasy, has since become normal fantasy. The show has few options now, except to either conclude with a predictable but narratively and thematically satisfying ending, whether it be humans banding together in the face of unforgiving natural disaster or being destroyed by it in their inability to understand the importance of the world beyond just their own existences, overrun by the Night King and the white walkers as they squabble amongst themselves (preferably the latter, in my view). Or, it could continue to subvert fantasy, which now includes itself, the path it seems to have taken. The battle's low death count and immediate destruction of the mythological threat is not an examination and challenge of Tolkien fantasy, but a subversion of self, a twist on the dour and horrific body count and the feeling of hopelessness which is replaced with continuous moments of catharsis that ironically feel as if they could belong in Tolkien. The destruction of the Night King doesn't feel to me all that different from the killing of Smaug or the death of Sauron, which were followed by the Battle of the Five Armies and the Scouring of the Shire, respectively. Conceptually and mythically grand conflicts replaced by smaller struggles relating to personal moments of growth is where both of these stories go, and where Game of Thrones seems to have subverted itself into going. If you subvert subversion, you kind of just end up where you started.

    3 votes
  14. [2]
    Arshan Link
    I agree with the general sentiment here, i.e. the writing could have been better. I enjoyed the battle, and I was perfectly okay with the darkness of the episode. It felt ominous and overwhelming,...

    I agree with the general sentiment here, i.e. the writing could have been better. I enjoyed the battle, and I was perfectly okay with the darkness of the episode. It felt ominous and overwhelming, like a zombie invasion. I loved a lot of the shots, especially the dothraki charge and the wave of wights. I would (will?) have been okay with Arya killing the NK, IF Bran offers some exposition around his plan. He clearly knew a lot of stuff and was orchestrating something, but they need to show it. I'm also okay with the NK being done in the show; I really loath black villains like him. Pure evil is boring as shit. I find Cersei, and to some degree Euron, to be much more interesting. We saw Cersei's gradual decline into being super evil; we saw her become who she is today. The NK just is. Overall, I enjoyed the episode, but I do agree I have mixed feelings on the ending.

    Also, yes the tactics were terrible; I was blown away with how dumb they were.

    2 votes
    1. Staross Link Parent
      Agree with that, the NK was boring, good riddance. Let's hope human affairs will be nice and bloody now.

      I really loath black villains like him. Pure evil is boring as shit. I find Cersei, and to some degree Euron, to be much more interesting.

      Agree with that, the NK was boring, good riddance. Let's hope human affairs will be nice and bloody now.

      1 vote
  15. [2]
    teaearlgraycold Link
    I actually cried when Bran told Theon he was a good man. It's been years since a show/movie has done that for me.

    I actually cried when Bran told Theon he was a good man. It's been years since a show/movie has done that for me.

    1 vote
    1. CALICO Link Parent
      I choked up a few times this episode, but that lingering shot on Theon's face right at that moment broke me. Holy fuck, well done.

      I choked up a few times this episode, but that lingering shot on Theon's face right at that moment broke me. Holy fuck, well done.

      1 vote
  16. [5]
    deciduous Link
    I agree with the sentiment, but I'm a bit surprised (mostly in myself) that we expected more. What in the past 3 seasons gave any indication that the Night King would be handled well, or that...

    I agree with the sentiment, but I'm a bit surprised (mostly in myself) that we expected more. What in the past 3 seasons gave any indication that the Night King would be handled well, or that major characters would die off, or that there would be some great conclusion that felt realistic, intense, and earned?

    Credit to the previous episode for making us think characters would die. I expected this to be the moment the show finally gave some people the axe, but apparently even that is beyond them.

    1. [4]
      emdash Link Parent
      Not "in the past 3 seasons", but the Red Wedding would be a top pick on what (did) make Game of Thrones so unexpected: a willingness to be brutal and kill off major characters.

      What in the past 3 seasons gave any indication ... or that major characters would die off

      Not "in the past 3 seasons", but the Red Wedding would be a top pick on what (did) make Game of Thrones so unexpected: a willingness to be brutal and kill off major characters.

      1 vote
      1. Papaya Link Parent
        The Red Wedding was great because it had a geopolitical sense. It was during a war, where alliances mattered and the leaders needed to be careful. The show used to punish bad naive and reckless...

        The Red Wedding was great because it had a geopolitical sense. It was during a war, where alliances mattered and the leaders needed to be careful. The show used to punish bad naive and reckless character behavior. Now it just seems like it's a lot of fan service or arbitrary decisions without any build up.
        I literally saw the director say that they chose for Arya to kill the NK because Jon had already too much of the spotlight. What kind of resolution to 10 years of TV is that ?

        4 votes
      2. [2]
        deciduous Link Parent
        The Red Wedding was great. And it, like most of the unexpected moments in the show, came when they were still following the books. But I think the past few seasons have given a clear indication...

        The Red Wedding was great. And it, like most of the unexpected moments in the show, came when they were still following the books. But I think the past few seasons have given a clear indication that things aren't the same anymore.

        3 votes
        1. emdash Link Parent
          I'll give you that. I don't think W&B have it in them to make truly tough decisions like that anymore.

          I'll give you that. I don't think W&B have it in them to make truly tough decisions like that anymore.

  17. Seiko Link
    I don't watch it

    I don't watch it