Unlike the first two episodes of Game of Thrones season 8, episode three wastes no time in getting into the meat of the story. Winterfell is officially at war, and the directors are not about to mince words. There are massive spoilers ahead in this post so read what follows at your own risk. We start by following Tyrion Lannister who preps himself for the impending battle. In the background, the rest of the bastion is seen taking their final positions – civilians heading to the crypts, soldiers arming and moving into formation. The heavy, bass-filled music, coupled with the lack of dialogue from Tyrion makes for a heart-racing moment. Winter is here.
Say what you will about GOT, but the makers really know how to create suspense. The major characters are shown in their positions. The Stark sisters overlook things from the ramparts as Ser Davos paces about nervously. Daenerys’ dragons stalk the night sky. Even then, the makers found out ways to include humour as the bumbling Samwell Tarly joins his buddies in the frontlines.
Daenerys and Jon snow, wait no, Aegon Targaryen, observe the battlefield from far. The dragons are close to them. The Stark sisters remain inside the castle. Makes sense, since Sansa is useless with a sword and Arya never faced a horde. Meanwhile, Bran is taken away from the main battlefield as discussed in the second episode.
And in the middle of all this waiting and trepidation, guess who decides to show up for a chat? The Red Woman. That’s right, Melisandre rides up on a horse to awaiting human army. She casts a spell and lights up every Dothraki rider’s sword with fire. Heh! Her faith on the Lord of the Light paid off. Once more. However, once she enters the castle, Melisandre tells Davos that she’ll be dead before dawn. Wonder what that means for the rest of the people. BTW, Arya gives her a nasty look. The young lass turns green – Melisandre had once seduced Gendry. Meanwhile, the war begins as the Dothraki warriors clash with the undead.
Within seconds, the Dothraki with their flaming swords are reduced to nothing by the White Walkers. Only their frantic horses race back. Ser Jorah looks injured and the remaining men began to flinch. Dany has seen enough and takes off on Drogon. Along with Rhaegal and Jon, they join the attack. The war isn’t going well for the humans and Brienne is injured. Arya plays the big sister role and gives her knife to Sansa, advising her to head to the crypt. ‘Stick it with the pointy end,” she tells her sister on using the knife.
Meanwhile, Jon is lost in an ice storm created by the Night King. Rhaegal crashes into tress as he flies, injuring himself, before bumping into Drogon. Bran lies in wait in his position as Jon lands close to his location. The rest of the army fall back inside the walls of Winterfell. Edd, of the Night’s Watch, dies trying to save Sam.
The war plans go for a toss as Dany can’t see Ser Davos’s signals to light the trenches with dragon fire. Burning arrows don’t cut it since it is too cold. Enter Melisandre and her Lord of the Light! The trenches are lit and the undead warriors are thwarted for the time being.
Down at the crypts, Tyrion is pissed since he’s not doing anything. Sansa calms him, saying hiding and dying is the most heroic thing they can do now since they can’t fight. The two joke about being married to each other and how that wouldn’t work out.
Bran uses his warg powers to discover that the Night King is flying on a zombiefied Viserion. The trench fires are being nullified by the dead army as Davos orders the men to brace themselves. The next phase is about survival as the Night King approaches and the dead try to scale the walls of Winterfell.
The Hound takes a breath away from the chaos. He’s a scaredy cat when it comes to fire. Arya shows off her mad skills, killing monsters with the finesse of a maestro. Sublime work by the teen! Lyanna Mormont sacrifices herself to kill a giant White Walker in a brutal scene reminiscent of the good ol’ days of GOT. Seeing Arya in trouble the Hound gets back into the fight.
Arya gets a hero-moment, trying to avoid a horde of baddies inside the castle. She makes use of her assassin skills to evade the white walkers before being chased by them. This scene is just like what they showed in the trailers. She is saved by the Hound and Beric Dondarion. During the fight, Dondarion is fatally wounded. The Red Woman meets them and foretells that Arya will be shutting out many blue eyes. In the other side of town, the dead have closed in on Bran’s location.
The Night King attacks Winterfell with Viserion and is engaged in combat with the other dragons. Jon and the Night King are grounded and Dany escapes with Drogon when attacked. The Night King then plays his ultimate weapon: rising the dead. The crypts are under attack by the White Walkers and are overrun. Sansa and Tyrion stay hidden and plan an escape. Jon heads over to Bran, who’s now lost his defenders, including Theon. A fiery Viserion makes it hard for John to reach Bran. Ser Jorah loses his life, defending Dany.
Finally, it looks like Melisandre was correct. Again. Arya Stark you mad, stone cold, ruthless, cunning, beautiful killer! Just when the Night King believed he had Bran for his own, out of the blue shot comes Stark with her weapon in hand. The Night King spun around and grabbed her by her throat, but Arya is simply too smart. She drops her knife from one hand and then grabs it with the other before stabbing the ugly freak.
The Night King exploded into fragments, and his minions followed. Talk about a twisted end to a piece of otherwise well-crafted machinery devised by the king of zombies!
Finally, for some odd reason, Melisandre walked out into the empty battlefield and took off her necklace. She hobbled a few steps before crumbling on the ground and seemingly dying. It is unclear why she did that.
So what lies ahead for Westeros, now that the major threat is gone? Does Cersei sit back and smile about her plans working out? Do Dany and Jon aka Aegon quibble about the throne? We can’t wait to find out!