Review: Game Of Thrones Season 8, Episode 3 - 'The Long Night'

on Monday, April 29, 2019
Words: Diana Von R

'The Long Night', the third episode of Season Eight of 'Game Of Thrones', was highly anticipated, and for good reason. We know via Kit Harrington’s interview on 'The Late Show With Stephen Colbert' that it took 55 nights to film the episode, and we saw the army of the dead approach Winterfell. A battle was imminent, and we all presumed many of our key characters would die as Episode 2, 'A Knight Of The Seven Kingdoms', was by and large a “goodbye” episode.

So I was surprised how many of the characters survived. *FULL SPOILERS AHEAD*

To cut to the chase, Arya killed the Night King. In the badass move she used on Brienne, she jumped at the Night King with Catspaw (a Valyrian Steel dagger, sent to kill Bran) in her left hand. He grabbed her left wrist with one hand and neck with the other - when she dropped the dagger into her right hand and plunged it into the Night King’s gut. He shattered, and all the dead around him dropped too.

This was the big hurrah moment. But why did it happen in Episode 3?! We have been fearing the Night King and the dead for several seasons - it feels like they did not give this death defying creature a proper end, nor did it explain more of its heritage etc. I blame the fan theory sites for raising expectations so high for a proper explanation...Was he a Targaryen? Was he Bran? Was he just a guy in the wrong place at the wrong time and was turned by the Children of the Forest? We don’t know! Maybe there is time to find out in the final three episodes, or maybe George RR Martin will cover it in the remaining books...

So it seems the big baddie is now Cersei, and to borrow from another property, after defeating Bowser they then have to go on to defeat an evil Princess Peach. That’s kind of how I’m feeling at the moment. And now, back to the battle.

"HERE WE STAND" - House Mormont’s words

The MVP award for 'The Long Night' surely needs to go to Lyanna Mormont. Yes, Arya killed the Night King, but this strong little girl who we have loved with her no BS attitude, ran up to the giant with a spear. He grabbed her in his fist and she STABBED HIM IN THE EYE with a dragonglass dagger. She perished with him, but that was one of the bravest deaths we have seen.

Secondly, there’s Jorah Mormont. He was there for his Queen when it looked like she was alone to face the Walkers, and died for her. His love for her is one of the purest in the book and TV shows, although not returned in the same way, his love for her was unconditional - and a bit weird, as she was a young teenager when they first met but this is a world where incest is normal etc.

The Crypts of Winterfell

We knew something was going to happen, and I had mentioned it in the recap for 'Winterfell'. What surprised me was how little it seemed to add to the story, with such an emphasis on the Crypts during the trailer for this season as well as the new opening credits. I had expected the dead to rise from their crypts, but I thought the repercussions would be more severe with key characters dying down there. Or Jon Snow meeting his skeletal mother.

I also half expected the dead to come in from a secret passageway, as some had said the Night King may have been a Stark. I also thought the little girl from Episode 2 with greyscale/marks on her face would die or do something heroic, but we barely even saw her.

The Fiery God

Now we go to Melisandre and Beric Dondarrion. Melisandre aided the fight greatly by lighting up the Dothraki’s arakhs (curved blades) as they led the first storm against the dead. She then set the stakes on fire, something Daenerys was meant to do with dragon fire but couldn’t see the signal through the icy storm. The fiery stakes did stop the Walkers for a while, which would have made all the difference to many of our key characters’ lives. Her interaction with Arya also seemed to fire her up: “What do we say to death? Not today.”

Melisandre is a love-hate character but I think her actions in 'The Long Night' has earned her redemption. After her purpose was served, we saw her take off the necklace and she passed away as an old lady.

As Jon ran towards the Night King, it was reminiscent of the 'Battle Of The Bastards' when Jon ran into the trap set by Ramsey and was surrounded by enemies. I guess this time he didn’t have much choice as he HAD to kill the Night King one way or another. Or someone had to.

Luckily for him, Dany swooped in and saved him with dragon fire, as she had done north of the wall. Many had speculated how Dany would react to hearing Jon “has a claim” on the Iron Throne - so it’s good to see she did save him, and would have died for him if Jorah hadn’t rescued her. I do wonder whether she knows he actually is ahead of her for rights to the throne, as she hadn’t talked it over with her advisors.

A final thing I noticed was that they shot the scene from the Wight and then straight to Gilly in the Crypts. Little Sam is the last of Craster’s sons, and technically brothers with the Wights. Maybe he is more important, but I can’t see that story continuing with the Night King dying. Unless he’s not actually dead...arghhh!!!

Read our Season 8, Episode 1 'Winterfell' review here. Diana works as a freelance photographer and lives in North London with her 2 children and husband. Find more info at

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