Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 3 'The Long Night' Review: God of Death came and left
Game of Thrones season 8 Episode 3: The god of Death came and left Winterfell, giving proud battle scars, grief and fatigue. But in the end you must always remember what we say to the God of Death, “Not Today” and then you “stick him with the pointy end”
The eerie silence with which the episode begins sets in dread and suspense. How its all going to go down? For straight 15-20 minutes no one chirps, just the hands that are shaking, eyes horrified and anticipating at the same times and ready as one can be in their battle stance, waiting . No is naive enough to expect an easy escape but are still trying to clutch on to something until its anything they can grab hold of. First they start with doing the right and all so very quickly its the fight for survival. We did get acts of duty, pride, honour and love.
The entire episode is nerve wrecking and chilling to the core. It not just your favorite characters out of breathe, on many occasions sitting on this side of the screen I found my friends and I, gasping. Yelling. Praying. It was engaging through and through.
It starts with Samwell Tarly’s shaking hands, wonder why he is not in crypts though. Winterfell looks battle ready, planning are all done, now its time for action. The camera moves giving you different perspective and positioning in the battle front. Ser Jorah Mormont stands in the vanguard with the Dothraki warriors and Ghost, I wonder where it got lost after the first attack scene? Then we have the Unsullied battalion led by Grey worm, and next to them are the Free Folks, remaining of the Night's Watch, Brotherhood without Banner, Ser Jaime and Podrick led by Ser Brienne. Archers are ready and so are the catapults, trenches, and dragons with their riders. All looking towards the woods. The first horse that reaches them is of help, Melisandre arrives with her magic. She whispers flames for all the Dothraki arakhs.its like lighting hundreds of torches with one touch. And then joins the Winterfell castle. The Dothrakis then charge with their battle cry and flaming arakhs soaring. The use of visuals are beautiful throughout the episode, especially in this scene as the marching Dothrakis form a blazing spearhead. Only to be consumed by the yet to seen enemy, their cries dead setting in the horror of whats they are up against. Ser Jorah and a few are able to retreat.
Next we find the Stark sisters at the top of the Winterfell castle, Sansa is horrified by the turn of events at the very beginning. Arya gives her a Dragon glass asking her to stick the enemy with the pointy end. The camera moves to the battle ground as we have waves of dead moving forward to devour those breathing flesh. Its like battling the Hydra, from Greek myths, there no end to it. Jaime and Brienne are fighting alongside, for each other. Sam is being a liability and I do question whose side he is on? The urge yell ‘that's not how you can take your revenge from Daenerys’ was very. Edd dies protecting him but he doesn’t stop right there. Daenerys is watching it all with Jon and decides to do save her people. She is the Khaleesi after all. Jon stops her as is not in the plan, but nothing happening then was in the plan. She rides her Dragon to help her people, buying them time to retreat back into the castle. Everyone starts retreating while the Unsullied build a defence, then we have the trenches opened but nothing stops the army of the dead. They decide to burn the trenches but fire is not working and Daenerys has let the scene. Melisandre has proved to the lady of the hour on many occasions in the episode, she comes and starts her magical chants. This scene is powerful as throughout the series she has burned many with no flicker of doubt on her face but for a second or two even her faith wavers. Lord of light doesn’t disappoint her this time.
So much is happening at the same time. Battles are fought in small circles everywhere, camera pans over these battling arcs. At the same time we have Jon mounting the Rhaegar as Dany is riding Drogon. Both the dragons are in the air, when the ice dragon Viserion joins in spitting ice cold fire. The Dance of the dragons that follows is spell binding as well as bone chilling. The cinematography of this particular scene is picturesque.
Then setup changes and we enter the castle where Arya is getting chased by the white walkers, Berik saves her and Hound who was petrified because of fire snaps out of it to get Arya to safety. The manage an escape with Berik dying. Out nowhere Melisandre emerges to remind Arya about the God of Death and the eyes she will shut forever. Thats a big reveal bomb. She runs to fulfill the prophecy. While the safe crypts are no longer safe. We have Tyrion and Sansa hide behind Ned’s statue. They look at each other with hope and horror. Just a while ago they were discussing how it won’t work between them though Sansa agrees he was “best of them.”
Jon falls to the after the Night's King, Daenerys tries to kill him with the biggest ever Dracarys but nothing happens. Except for the sinister and smug smile of the Night's King. There are many theories about how he could be Targaryen as he wasn’t killed by Dragon fire but what's important here is throughout the series the guy made us believe he has no other expression than that thin lipped stoic look. Anyways Daenerys, being the proud Dragon mother she is was shell shocked, which allowed white walkers to mount on Drogon and hurt him. Drogon, agonized by it take a flight dropping Dany and starts shaking off like a flies infested dog. Dany is vulnerable to the poaching walkers as she has sent Jon to safeguard Bran. But Ser Jorah comes to Dany’s rescue in the right time. He is nothing if not a selfless devoted lover. Dany tries to be the Khaleesi of the Dothraki and fight but thats all nerves. Ser Jorah take wall the plunges acting as a shield safeguarding her. Like the bear he is.
The redemption arc of Thion is not over yet, he is guilt driven and is ready to do whatever he can for redressal of his betrayal. He is protecting Bran in the Godswood, who is sitting awaiting the arrival of an old friend, the Supreme commanders of White walkers and Night King himself. Upon his arrival, Bran tells Thion he is good man and thanks him. But Thion hasn’t given up, he knows its the end but he still marches forward towards the Night king and is martyred.
A somber music sets in and it seems the end is near and it is the siren call of the triumph of death. The camera pans over the fate of ruined castle of winterfell, with mounts of dead piles everywhere, those still breathing are cornered and still fighting fatigue for another breath, Jon is helplessly trying to reach Bran, Jorah is battered but still fighting to save Dany and one. It painful. Its the fight for survival. can sense the gloom and helplessness creep in. Its heart wrenching. Like a whisk of air Arya attacks the unassuming Night King, who was about to kill Bran. He turns and holds her by the neck as she attacks him with the dagger. She tricks him by switching the dagger from one to the other. And in the end, she sticks his heart with the pointy end.
Like a glass castle that shatters into million pieces by a small crack, Night King collapses into millions of shards of ice. One by one and two by two all his minions and walkers of the dead army fall into a rubble. Jorah dies in the arms of the lady he served and loved the most. Daenerys is aghast at losing her most trusted friend, who stood by her from the very start. As she wails for Ser Jorah the Mormont, Drogon come and spoons her, more so in condolence than consolation. Death never leaves alone.
Meet the author
Hey this is Anjali Shukla. I am pursuing my masters in English and Cultural Studies at Christ University. I am a movie buff and a classic nerd. When it comes to picking holidaying options I am quite satisfied with good chinese takeout and my movie hard drive or my mini library with a generous supply of books. I love travelling as it is a default hobby of having your father serving in the air force. I am interested in reading Philosophy especially that of existentialist philosophers like Nietzsche and Jean Paul Sartre.