Game of thrones season 8

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Discussing “The Long Night,” from Arya khổng lồ the living’s battle tactics lớn the Night King’s surprising usage of James Bond villain slo-mo


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HBO/Ringer illustration
After every episode of the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones, staff members at The Ringer will gather at the nearest weirwood khổng lồ discuss the most interesting moments, developments, và theories. Without further ado, here’s the exit survey for the third episode, “The Long Night.”

1. What is your tweet-length reviews of “The Long Night”?

Danny Heifetz: “And what do we say to the god of death?”

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Kate Knibbs: Winter finished awfully quickly for something allegedly coming for so long.

Miles Surrey: The Night King blew a 3-1 lead.

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Andrew Gruttadaro: Do you know how it feels khổng lồ fear a bad guy & anticipate a battle for more than seven years và then he dies và it ends because his bodyguards fell asleep at the wheel?

Alyssa Bereznak:


Dragons Are A Waste of Time & Eat Too Much: My Column

— alyssa bereznak (
alyssabereznak) April 29, 2019

Ben Lindbergh: We want Game of Thrones to lớn surprise us, & on Sunday it did—just not always in welcome ways. Disappointment is also a sort of surprise.

Katie Baker: The great news is that climate change is a hoax!!!

2. What was the best moment of the episode?

Gruttadaro: Each & every moment involving Arya, from taking down wights with ease to the brief, high-tension horror movie scene lớn when she Air Jordan’ed và did the Rey knife drop from The Last Jedi and ended the Night King. That last one feels a little deflating in hindsight, but it was awesome in the moment.

Knibbs: Tyrion’s gripping Sansa’s hand. A compelling, coherent human moment in an episode heavy on nonsense spectacle.

Lindbergh: The moment we learned that the series will over with three Theon-less episodes was up there, but it can’t top the charge of the Dothraki light brigade. I didn’t mô tả the common complaint that the battle scenes were too dark or chaotic—they were just dark enough khổng lồ remind me that the night was full of terrors, và chaotic only when the characters they featured were supposed khổng lồ be bewildered, which was partly a hàng hóa of the white Walkers’ literal fog of war. But no other sequence combined the clarity, suspense, và stunning visuals of the doomed Dothraki attack.


The battle we waited nearly a decade for is over. So where does the show go from here?#TalkTheThrones: Breaking down the Battle of Winterfell & Episode 3 of the final season of #GameOfThrones. Https://t.co/ZTl5ZrRrWr

— The Ringer (
ringer) April 29, 2019

Heifetz: When the Red Woman lit the Dothraki swords on fire, my jaw dropped and I drooled on the person next lớn me so hard that you would’ve thought Arya had stabbed me in the face lượt thích she did that wight in the library.

Bereznak: Arya psyching out the Night King & stabbing him in his ice gut was an MVP move for the ages, and would’ve made Syrio Forel weep with pride. Not only did she rid Westeros of its one true existential threat, but she also succeeded where Dany failed. That seems relevant given the forthcoming power nguồn struggle between the North và the dragon Queen with the serious dragon mismanagement problem.

Baker: Melisandre making all the Dothraki swords burst into flames before the fight was a genuinely moving scene that had me ready to bust through a crypt wall! (We’ll just mix aside that it basically led khổng lồ an ill-fated Winterfell version of the Charge of the Light Brigade. And let’s hope there are no Dothraki left over to lớn seek everlasting revenge on their Khaleesi?!)

Surrey: SER DAVOS’S NOT DYING DESPITE THE FACT HE HAS NO COMBAT ABILITY WHATSOEVER.

3. What was the most frustrating part of the episode?

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Bereznak: Whether purposeful or not, the general darkness of the episode—like, quite literally the pitch-blackness of it—was occasionally disorienting! I frequently felt lượt thích I was in a low-visibility snow storm of death, & it made me very anxious.

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Knibbs: The battle logistics made no sense. If the dead could take the entire Dothraki people out nearly instantaneously, why were they attempting to breach the walls of Winterfell for like 45 minutes? Why were some of the wights just bumbling around the library while others were lượt thích rapacious hell beasts? How in the fuck are Brienne, Pod, Tormund, Jaime, Sam, Gilly, BABY SAM, Missandei, & Grey Worm all still alive?

Gruttadaro: It was just so easy. The living ended “The Long Night” (extremely sarcastic air quotes here) in … less than one night. Và no one who’s spoken more than 50 lines on the show died. I’m not bloodthirsty, I’m just realistic.

Lindbergh: See questions 7 and 8! Also, the crypt scene was sort of a dud. I would have liked lớn have seen Sansa stick some reanimated ancestors with the pointy end. Và where was zombie Rickon?

Surrey: That the way the battle was structured (to say nothing of the awful lighting) gave us little indication as to where important characters were for huge chunks of time. I wouldn’t give up Arya killing the Night King for anything in the world, but I have no idea how she got from the halls of Winterfell khổng lồ the godswood—let alone how she snuck by all the wights and White Walkers lớn deliver the humanity-saving blow.

Heifetz: Jon huffing và puffing at this ice dragon lượt thích he was the big bad trắng wolf:

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Baker: I hate khổng lồ say it, but I was kind of bummed that more important characters didn’t die! For such a big, bonkers battle it just didn’t feel lượt thích it had the sort of agonizing stakes that make those sorts of scenes so effective. The Lyanna Mormont death was too perfect to lớn feel truly sad, & the dead-rising-in-the-crypt scene didn’t scare me as much as it should have because no one major seemed khổng lồ actually be in peril. There should have been a scene where a character was forced to vị one-on-one battle with the undead version of a loved one, you know? (Clearly this show has created quite the sociopath, & I’m not talking Ramsay.)

4. Before anything else, let’s talk about that ending, shall we?

Gruttadaro: Putting aside all of my gripes, I’m really just so happy for Arya. What a crowning achievement.

Lindbergh: I’ll say this for the ending: While I didn’t want the Night King khổng lồ bow out so soon or so unceremoniously, I’m glad that Arya got lớn be both a badass và a hero, & I appreciated the history embedded in the maneuver (which she debuted against Brienne in Season 7) and the murder weapon (which goes all the way back khổng lồ the second attempt to kill Bran in Season 1). What’s more, I didn’t see it coming any more than the Night King did. That’s the most impressive part of the climax: As obsessively as we speculated about what would happen Sunday, I didn’t suspect that the big bad would be beaten and that the threat that’s been building for seven-plus seasons would be wiped away with three supersized episodes to go.

Surrey: Arya smashed with a hot blacksmith and hours later destroyed the embodiment of death. What did you bởi vì at 18?

Baker:

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Bereznak: Theon’s death was extremely on brand. First, it appears that he brought only a single bucket of arrows to lớn the battle against the Night King. What? Second, the moment before he charges the Night King, Bran returns from wherever it is that he warged khổng lồ say some generic words of encouragement that nonetheless inspire Theon. This guy is so broken that “You’re a good man” is enough lớn get him feeling all weepy and sacrificial. Finally, Theon charges at the Night King và is dead within seconds. He did his best, and his best was absolutely terrible. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t remind me of a few of my high school soccer games.

As for Arya’s tricking the Night King, I’m still shocked it was that easy. This dude was supposed khổng lồ be the living embodiment of death! Yet, for some reason, he takes the same flawed approach of a Bond villain in eliminating his one true obstacle lớn victory. The guy is a magical ice lord who commands a zombie army of millions. I was never under the impression that he had feelings, let alone the capacity to preemptively savor a moment of triumph. Và it’s still wild that, despite being an Olympic-level javelin thrower, the Night King did not anticipate a little knife trickery. Obviously I was glad to lớn see that while Jon & Dany fucked around in Dragontown, Arya kept her eye on the prize. I just never expected his death to lớn be so humanly dumb.

Anyway, in conclusion, the Night King is a fraud, Arya remains a nimble và capable assassin, and Theon probably could’ve survived if he had just stood his ground for five more minutes.

Heifetz: The ending was great. The people who didn’t love it have dragonglass in their chests instead of hearts.

Knibbs: I can’t even talk about the ending because I am still hung up on the fact that a widdle baby toddler somehow survived the alleged battle to over all battles.

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