Game of Thrones S8 Episode 3 Recap: The Battle of Winterfell

Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 3SPOILERS BELOW!

First things first. This episode was WAY too dark. Oh, I don’t mean figuratively. I mean the lighting was literally too dark at times. I could see pixels. The only way I could come close to getting a decent view of what was going on was by turning out all the lights in my house.

But seriously, this episode must be commended as a milestone in the history of television. The cast and crew of Game of Thrones damn near killed themselves to bring this episode to life. I was literally applauding when the credits rolled.

I watch a lot of TV, and I’m not always easy on the programs I critique, but this episode gets an A+. It is simultaneously technically brilliant and emotionally satisfying. The payoff in this week’s episode has been set up since the very first episode of this show, and foreshadowed throughout the show’s history.

This show has captured lightning in a bottle, and that lightning has ignited a moment in time that will define a generation.

I call history to record April 28, 2019 as the day television was irrevocably altered. Every new television series now has a new benchmark.

I’d also like to pat myself on the back for predicting the White Walkers would be defeated in last week’s review.

I was also correct to point out the advantage humans have over White Walkers is their capacity for love. Arya’s love for Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) prevented her from hiding in the crypts like a coward. She had no assurance she would survive, and yet she risked everything.

I also love the subversion of Arya, and not Daenerys’ dragons or Jon’s sword, being the one to kill the Night King. A girl has overcome all expectations.

We lost a lot of great characters in this week’s episode. Apart from losing thousands of Dothraki, Wildlings and Unsullied, we said goodbye to Ser Beric Dondarrion (Richard Dormer) who died defending Arya (Maisie Williams) and The Hound (Rory McCann).

Melisandre (Carice Van Houten) returned to Winterfell, and she assures Arya and The Hound that Ser Beric did not die in vain. The Lord of Light needed Arya to stay alive to kill the Night King. When Melisandre met Arya in Season 3, she correctly predicted that Arya would shut eyes of many colors: including blue.

Sadly, poor Lyanna Mormont (Bella Ramsey) and Ser Jorah Mormont (Iain Glenn) had to die as well. Their sacrifice was not in vain. This is the only way I can console myself after seeing a 10-year-old girl die a HORRIFICALLY GRAPHIC death at the hands (or hand) of a zombie giant.

As for Ser Jorah, he could not have died a more honorable death. I’m actually happy he died as a hero in battle. It wasn’t for nothing. After all, the Night King is dead! All the White Walkers are gone!

As horrible as it was to watch Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) weep for Ser Jorah, we must admit to ourselves that his death would have felt a lot worse if the battle had gone differently.

Now that we know the White Walkers are gone, we can get back to the central conflict at hand: The Game of Thrones.

Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) and Sansa (Sophie Turner) playfully discuss the prospect of being each other’s one true love, to which Sansa replies that while Tyrion treated her well, it would never work. Sansa explains it’s because she and Tyrion differ over whether or not Daenerys should rule the North.

Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) interjects. She reminds them that without Daenerys, everybody in Winterfell would already be dead.

In what they believed were their final moments, Tyrion and Sansa shared an exceptionally raw emotional moment. Was it romantic, or more uncle and niece (which are not mutually exclusive concepts in this show)? Let me know in the comments.

I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention Theon’s (Alfie Allen) heroic death. While Bran could not express deep emotion because he’s the Three-Eyed Raven, he did call Theon a “good man” before the Night King killed Theon.

Once again, even though Theon’s death is sad, it’s still not a total tragedy, because of Arya’s success.

Nitpick: dragon fire can’t kill the Night King, but a dagger can? Consistency people, consistency!

So where do we go from here? Prophecy fulfillment. Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) will kill Cersei (Lena Headey), Sandor will kill Gregor (Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson) and someone will surely kill someone else because of some prophecy.

It’s not the journey. It’s getting there. And I have to tell you getting there has been one of the most satisfying experiences of my entire life. There are three episodes left. Whatever happens, happens. It’s never been about who ends up on that uncomfortable throne. I mean seven hells, it’s already established that Westeros is not even the most powerful continent in the world in this universe.

As Melisandre walked to her icy death, she felt reconciled. It was like she was OK with it.

This show has been on the air since 2011. It’s time.

I’ve fallen in love with these characters, and now that the White Walkers are out of the way, I can’t wait to spend the next three episodes with them.

What do you think will happen? Let me know in the comments.

P.S. PLEASE DO A RHAEGAR AND LYANNA EPISODE, I’M BEGGING.

OK, I’m done. ~Yanis Khamsi

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Comments & Discussion

  1. Mar • April 29, 2019 @ 8:38 AM

    The dagger was made of dragon glass that’s why it killed the Night King no inconsistencies there

  2. Yanis Khamsi • April 29, 2019 @ 11:59 AM

    Thank you so much for commenting Mar!

    As you undoubtedly know, dragon fire kills White Walkers, or at the very least incapacitates them. Dragon fire had absolutely no effect on the Night King. It should have wounded him or had some sort of effect.

    I’m not saying the dagger shouldn’t have killed the Night King, I’m saying the fact that he was impervious to dragon fire was not previously established in the show.

  3. CDubya • April 29, 2019 @ 12:06 PM

    It was amazing. I do agree, a little too dark. I think the CGI creators had to play with that fine line in order to make the TV CGI look as good as it did. We are talking thousands of ‘extras’ all moving and fighting and an amazing aerial dragon fight with people on the backs of the dragons. Ultimately, just wow. I agree a new TV benchmark was reached. Whomever greenlit the budget has a lot of faith and foresight to know they will make that money back in syndication rights and merchandise sales etc for a loooong time to come.

  4. Kathy • April 29, 2019 @ 3:12 PM

    When the fire didnt kill the Night King, I thought, Who else doesnt die in fire? Could there be a connection?

  5. mkabilen • April 30, 2019 @ 12:14 PM

    In my humble opinion, it would’ve been too easy to kill the night king with just fire, or dragon fire in this case. May be the night king has magic to prevent such easy ways to take him out… I mean he is using some kind of magic to resurrect the dead and to keep them inline. With that said, a dagger made of valerian steel (not an easy weapon to come by) and you can’t come close enough to attack – I mean, even if he predicted it, the chances are slim.

  6. Peter • May 1, 2019 @ 9:13 PM

    Mar- The dagger wasn’t made of Dragon glass it was Valyrian steel, it was the dagger used to try and kill Bran that he gave to Arya and said ” I don’t want it, it’s wasted on a cripple”

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