This is it, the Battle of Winterfell and the endgame with the White Walkers. The show has been building to this showdown for such a long time that it’s hard to believe that there are still 3 episodes left and that the Iron Throne is still up for grabs. But let’s get into it.

And yes, all my predictions were wrong.

WOW

My immediate reaction is that this was a great episode and one of the series’ best. Everything worked nicely and there is very little to complain about. A lot of really nice moments throughout the entire show. There were a lot of things that people were sure were going to happen, but didn’t, which was good because I was not sure at any point what was going to happen next.

The cinematography was beautiful. The entire episode happened in the dark, but the use of fire for lighting created a nice mood and some gorgeous shots. The Dothraki charging into battle, the ice dragon going nuts and destroying Winterfell’s walls, the dragons flying above the clouds, there are a lot of things to choose from what looked the best. Fortunately once the dragons started lighting up the battlefield, it because easier to see everything.

A number of long takes as well. In addition to the opening tracking shot of Sam and Tyrion, there is a nicely done shot of the ravens flying over the battlefield which I thought was particularly impressive. It’s probably easily forgettable, but it’s the one I liked the best.

I also loved the way that they shot and made the Night King look. The first time you see him in the episode and he’s riding the dragon and puts his arm out towards to camera looked incredibly creepy and foreboding.

MELISANDRE

I was talking to someone last week about how Melisandre still has not returned and that I guess she would be seen again after Winterfell because it’s not like she’s just going to show up on a horse right before that battle starts. And what happened?

The moment of her lighting up the Dothraki swords and seeing this whole sea of fire was a nice start the episode. And her, later on, lighting up the trenches was another nice moment. I really wasn’t sure what purpose she would serve when she showed up other than reminding people about prophecies and such, so it was nice that they gave her something to do.

Melisandre is the one who the whole prophecy of Azor Ahai is linked to since no one other than her seems to care much about it, so after she dies at the end, does the prophesy die with her? Are they just going to drop Azor Ahai all together? Has anyone other than her ever even heard the name Azor Ahai?

ARYA

My, my how our little girl has grown. The little girl from season 1 is now the person who killed the Night King.

I was kind of surprised that she was the one who did the deed. Like a lot of people, I kind of expected the episode to end with Jon Snow dropping down off a dragon to fight the Night King and defeat him one on one. Arya for a long time has been one of my favorite characters, so I really did not have a problem with the ending and it’s a nice end to her story arc.

My real issue is that they made a big deal of her having Gendry make a special weapon, but then she winds up killing the Night King with the dagger from Littlefinger in season 1. What’s the point then?

Also, was it just me or did the scenes with Arya in the library feel very Walking Dead like? I got the vibe that she was more like Carl Grimes taking down walkers more than anything else in that scene. She even kills one of the whytes by stabbing it in the head Walking Dead style.

JON SNOW…

Did not have much to do this week. Spent most of his time flying on a dragon and refusing to ask for directions after he got lost. I guess since he is the most likely victor for the Iron Throne, they wanted to spread the wealth around and give other characters the spotlight and not just focus on him so much. Which is fine.

When he was fighting the Night King and the zombie dragon, why did he or Dany not try to burn the Night Kings dragon with fire? The dragon is a member of the undead and the undead die by burning them, so wouldn’t burning him with dragon fire kill him too? Am I missing something? That’s what I was thinking the entire time.

THE HOUND

I’m not sure what to think of him this episode. It was nice to see him put himself back together when he saw Arya was in trouble but was the reason he freaked out because of his fear of fire or the fact that he really thought there was no point in fighting. He checked out before early in the series because he didn’t think it was worth protecting the king, but it’s not really clear about it in this case.

SURVIVORS

The biggest surprise this week was probably the number of people who made it to the end. Everyone was so ready to see ½ the cast get killed that it was somewhat of a shock to see that it did not happen. Other than Theon, there were really no major deaths on the side of the living. Beric also went down, but he’s more of the next door neighbor level character. I hope that everyone does not survive this, then the next major battle, suddenly everyone starts falling off one by one there.

RANDOM THOUGHTS

They kept of saying that Ghost was back and that he would finally be unleashed this season, but just a couple of shots in the beginning, then he gets killed by that whytes.

Are Tyrion and Sansa going to be a thing after this episode now? One of the big theories is that he’s on Cersei’s side after speaking to her last, but if that’s the case why would he of gone to Winterfell to most likely die? And why would Cersei hire Bronn to kill both her brothers if she has Tyrion in her pocket?

The ice dragon died, but did the one Jon Snow rode on die as well? It wasn’t too clear.

Why was there no backup plan to make sure someone other than Theon was there when the Night King arrived to kill Bran? They could not have thought that Theon was capable of killing the Night King himself. And if Arya did not go nuts and show up at the last second Bran would have died. And if Bran did die, how does that change anything other than the fact that there is no longer a Three-Eyed Raven around anymore?

Why didn’t Bran try to warg into the ice dragon and some point to neutralize the Night King? Worth a shot.

At one point over an hour in I thought that maybe the battle would continue into next episode.

So those are my thought. Yours?

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