THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SOME VERY HUGE SPOILERS FOR SEASON 8, EPISODE 3 OF GAME OF THRONES. IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS, STOP READING NOW.
Ohmygod. OH MY GOD. Omfg. My gawd. What a cracker of a Game Of Thrones episode we were gifted with Season 8, Episode 3, “The Long Night”. We already knew it was going to be a battle for the ages — the Internet even spent all weekend preparing for the worst — as the wights and their fearless leader The Night King (Vladimír Furdík) advanced on Winterfell in all their reanimated corpse-y glory.
But even though we had steeled ourselves for some Major Shit to go down, the geniuses behind Game Of Thrones still, somehow, managed to shock us in a huge way. As usual, myself (Josie, Head of Editorial here at PEDESTRIAN.TV) and Mel (P.TV’s Senior Style & Features Editor) watched it for recapping purposes, but for a fun change we finally viewed it together this week after some public hols and annual leave. And I for one am really glad Mel was there so I could clutch her arm repeatedly during this ridiculously tense 1 hr 20-minute episode.
Here. We. Go.
JOSIE: Can I just say well played to the fucken director (Miguel Sapochnik) for how he opened this episode. The tension was turned up to 100 from the opening shot, literally focusing on Sam‘s (John Bradley) shaking hands and nervous breathing and then that tracking shot that went to other characters. I started to feel vaguely nauseous from nerves.
MEL: I don’t think I could fault this episode from a directorial point of view. I was on the edge of my seat from the get-go, and it wasn’t because I was anticipating what would happen. I was just genuinely affected by how they filmed the battle preparation, following Sam and Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) as they walked among Lady Lyanna (Bella Ramsey) and other battle leaders prepping for war. Also, can I just say that I hate battles? I know people froth them and were really excited for this episode, but sometimes I get so anxious watching them that I fast forward (!!!) to calm my nerves. Just tell me who wins.
JOSIE: I’m glad we couldn’t fast-forward this, but fuck it was so nerve-wracking. Just standing there knowing you’re about to die, I felt like all the actors really conveyed the feelings that would come with that. It felt real! What about how every person that flashed onto the screen, we were like “Dead. You’re dead. Sorry, you’re going to die.”
MEL: Also who was that hot as FUCK long-haired prince, why have we been denied him for so long and where is he now.
JOSIE: Did he live? Did he die? Will he marry me? So many questions.
MEL: Huge disappointment that it’s taken until S8E03 to see his beautiful face. Here’s a mood and a half – Melisandre (Carice van Houten) turning up at the last bloody second and lighting the Dothraki swords on fire. I know it was useless in the end given they just got swarmed by the dead but it made for some beautiful imagery as Jon (Kit Harington) and Dany (Emilia Clarke) watched on from above. Immediately forgiven for murdering precious baby Shireen Baratheon (Kerry Ingram).
JOSIE: But like we said while watching, could she maybe move with a bit more purpose? I could have roasted a chicken in the time it took her to stride on in to Winterfell.
MEL: Seriously – the woman just drifted into Winterfell like there wasn’t a horde of wights sprinting across the snowy tundra.
JOSIE: Even later when she helped again by lighting the trenches on fire when Dany was stuck in that weird stormcloud, Red Lady was moving at the most frustratingly glacial pace. Bit of urgency please mate!
MEL: Wights were literally clambering through those pointy stacks and killing her comrades and she’s like, I’ll just swan over here using mindfulness steps.
Meanwhile, good to see Bran (Isaac Hemptsead Wright) is still on his cult leader self-help-guru bullshit. How was when Theon (Alfie Allen) apologised for being such an asshole for ages, and Bran just slowly eyeballs him and goes “everything you did brought you to where you are now, where you belong”. I can’t decide if Bran is A Mood or The Worst in his final form.
JOSIE: He’s just one of those irritating calm know-it-all people, except worse because he literally knows it all, since he can see through time and space or whatever. There’s no way to possibly one up this guy, ever. He’ll always have the last word!
MEL: Also when Bran was like “TBC, I’m off” and warged into 10 ravens to go suss what the Night King was up to like this episode was Spy Kids 6: Raven Time.
JOSIE: What about Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) seemingly dying about 19 times. I swear you were like ‘Yep she’s gone’ on multiple occasions and then 3 scenes later she’s like ‘ARGHHHHHH!’ *lops wight head off*
MEL: Yes re: Brienne – also Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and Sam, I swear at one point Sam was covered in wights? Is he dead?
JOSIE: Surely that lovely useless man is dead x 5? If he pops up next episode I am calling BS, he must be secretly immortal. Meanwhile, back at the ranch – things in the crypt were a bit tense between Sansa and Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel). Like, girls, now is not the time to be sniping about whether the Dragon Queen is a bitch or not.
MEL: Totally, everyone down there was like “I’m bored” until those fucking DEAD STARKS STARTED COMING TO LIFE. I’m so glad they didn’t go the route of “surprise the Starks are gonna fight for the living” because how ridiculous, but also what even happened to the magic of the crypts? Far as I can tell they were about as magical as my pinky toenail.
JOSIE: When those fucken gnarled zombie hands started bursting through the tombs, I was like NOPE. NO THANKS. Another big no from me? When the Night King made the wights do stacks on to get over the spiky barricades. NONONONONONO.
MEL: Oh my god, he is just the wooooorst, right? He has a trick for every booby trap the humans make, I swear. Another big no – wights climbing the walls. That should not be allowed, it’s illegal.
JOSIE: Wights / zombies climbing anything should be outlawed. This extends to dragons and also helicopters – which is more of a note for Brad Pitt for the World War Z sequel, if anything. It really started to feel hopeless once they made it into Winterfell, didn’t it? It was just an endlessly bleak battle.
MEL: I couldn’t believe how quickly they made it in. When Arya was wandering around that library (RIP those ancient books, by the way) it was shocking how many of the dead were mincing around the aisles. Then when they were pouring through the corridors while The Hound (Rory McCann), Beric (Richard Dormer) and Arya were trying to escape? Horrendous. RIP Beric, by the way. I mean he needed to actually DIE, though.
JOSIE: That library scene. My god. I think I need some serious medical attention after watching that. I didn’t breathe for 80% of it and I was also dying for a pee, so I’ve probably done some permanent damage there. Yeah poor Beric, that scene of him getting stabbed repeatedly was awful. But it was cool that he bought Arya and The Hound some time. Old mate was probably like “Yeah you know I’ve been brought back to life 10000 times and I’m bloody tired, time to go now”.
MEL: Yep, bye Beric you good lad. Also that’s when Arya and The Hound ran into Melisandre and she was all “hey Arya, good to see you again, killed many folks?” and Arya was like “yes a lot” and Melisandre was running through eye colours and when she got to blue… Arya was all “bye!”. INTERESTING FORESHADOWING, NO?
JOSIE: I know! I loved that moment. When Arya basically just leapt off the roof after being like “Not today.” That’s my new forever mood for when I’m having bad day: What Would Arya Do?
MEL: Another sad loss – little Lady Lyanna. I’m very, very glad she died doing something heroic. When the wight Giant picked her up and crushed her, but at the last second she stabbed him in the EYE!? Badass.
JOSIE: The funniest thing for me when Lyanna got the giant was we were sitting in the dark in this little filming studio in our office, and at this point you were yelling ‘stab him in the eye! stab him in the eye!’ and then one of our videographers came to the door and I think we low-key scared the fuck out of him since the lights were out and you were shouting about stabbing. He was like ‘OH! sorry’ and scuttled off.
MEL: Hahahaha it was a magnificent moment. Also, can we talk about how for 80% of that battle Dany and Jon were just hanging out in the sky? What were they DOING all that time?
JOSIE: I was actually getting annoyed at those two useless cunts? Like everyone else, even the glacially paced Red Chick, were getting shit done down on the ground and they’re literally taking their two best fire-shooting weapons and flying AWAY from the action. It was infuriating! Even later when they were finally being useful Dany thought she’d got the Night King when she shot fire at him, and she bloody didn’t. He just smirked at her.
MEL: And there was quite literally no point to it – they flew up into the sky, blew fire on a few lines of wights and then hung out in the storm. I was pretty disappointed in the dragons in general tbh – as you said when we watched, why didn’t they start burninating the wights BEFORE they made it to the armies? Like on the way, as they were running? I’m no War Commander but even I know that would have been pretty fucking useful.
JOSIE: Like get them before they arrive and start killing your army. Winston Churchill would be spinning in his grave at their complete lack of foresight here! I have to say, when Dany and Ser Friend Zone were there fighting back to back – her with actual hand-to-hand combat – it was pretty fucking cool. So much of this series since she’s the Queen she just gets people to do her bidding, but she knew she had to get involved then. Even though it didn’t help him. RIP Ser Friend Zone.
MEL: Absolutely, although I do think she could have done some basic training prior to, you know, the Great War. Still she did a good job for someone with no sword skills. Also – DRAGON FIGHT! DRAGON FIGHT!
JOSIE: Oh my god we were like 12 year old boys shouting DRAGON FIGHT! That was cool, but I do think it would have been cooler on a big screen and not squinting at my 13″ MacBook Air in a dark corner of our office, you know?
MEL: Absolutely. Also, did anything even happen with that? I think it literally ended up being the dragon version of this Simpsons scene:
JOSIE: Yeah they all survived it! Pointless waste of $1 million CGI budget, imo.
MEL: Meanwhile, very real q – has anyone really asked the Night King WHY he’s storming Winterfell and killing all the humans? Maybe he just wants something really simple. When Jon was walking toward him and they were just staring at each other not speaking, I was like… imagine if Jon yelled WHAT DO YOU WANT and the Night King was just like “so there’s a stash of ice under your castle here and it’s magic ice we need to build our own castle, can we have it?” or something.
JOSIE: Or like “Yeh hi! My name’s Frosty and I’m just keen to kill your brother, Bran. Like, all good if you don’t want us to but we could honestly save 1000 lives here if you just hand him over? I dunno, your call mate”.
MEL: Hahahaha Frosty. The Night King’s real name is absolutely, definitely Frosty Frosterson. Also from now on I will be referring to all cold beers as “pass me a Frosty Frosterson, thanks”. Anyway, I thought Winterfell was Doomed with a capital D when old mate started raising the dead like he always does. When they encircled Jon? Not OK with that. Things looked quite dire there.
JOSIE: That was bad. And all our cute little favourites got creepily reanimated, like Lyanna, and Jon’s friend with the receding hairline (what the fuck is that bloke’s name? Seriously I’ve had 8 seasons to learn it and now here we are, he’s dead and I still don’t know it).
MEL: Fun fact: I don’t care because he’s dead now. He will forever be known as Receding Hairline Friend Of Jon. Also here’s someone else just taking their sweet time getting around – the Night King and his posse.
JOSIE: Lord Baldy, RIP. We barely knew ye. (Actually we did, we’re just rude bitches who didn’t bother to learn your name). The Night King was the most unhurried person ever, even more so than Red Woman. Literally moving at a glacial pace, because he’s made up of 100% glacier at this point.
MEL: He was soooooooo sloooooow. My lord. I know he was winning the battle and had no need to rush but also dude, anything can happen (and it clearly did). Before we discuss that – ohhh Theon. He’s totally redeemed himself in my eyes. He fought off wights like a thing possessed to protect Bran who was Out Of Office: gone warging.
JOSIE: Ol’ White Eyes really noped out of most of that battle to go That’s So Raven on us, didn’t he? Poor Theon was just left by himself and bless him, he went down fighting until the end. And it was all kind of pointless really, The Night King basically flicked him aside like an irritating, harmless fly.
MEL: Okay the only criticism I have of Theon in this episode is – maybe attack the Night King in a smarter way? I don’t know, do a quick touch footy feint to the side and stab him in the kidney or whatever. Don’t just run at him like it’s a jousting comp.
JOSIE: It was all of the bravery and none of the brains. Again, a great war strategist would NOT have done it this way.So things really seemed hopeless didn’t they? I was really like ‘Hmm there are 5 min left like how can they get out of this one’. Then: Arya.
MEL: Holy shit. Arya.
JOSIE: That moment provoked legit screams from us. Like I didn’t even realise it was my voice making those sounds, it was almost involuntary. And then I threw myself into the wall of the filming studio.
MEL: I’ve never reacted so physically to a scene in any show, in all my life. I wasn’t expecting her to fly in for a stabby stabby at ALL. I did think “oh someone’s coming to save the day” because that White Walker’s wisp of hair moved, but Arya? Flying onto the Night King’s shoulder with her dagger? And then getting put in a chokehold, dropping the dagger only to GRAB IT WITH HER RIGHT HAND and plunge it into Frosty’s side? Magnificent, amazing, marvellous – that Lady Gaga gif ten times over.
JOSIE: I thought she was dead which is why I jumped outta my seat, she was all chokey sounding and I just assumed Frosty had special powers that mean he could kill her just by holding her there, Darth Vader style. But then she just fucken changes the game and stabs him right in his ice-encrusted body. There’s a reason this bitch is my favourite character. She almost has no regard for her own life, which is stupid and she probably should have carked it ten times by now. But there she bloody was, saving the goddamn day. ARYA I LOVE YOU, YOU FEARLESS IDIOT.
MEL: Now that it’s happened I feel like it was always going to be Arya, because she’s the only character who has that disregard for her own life (thank you, Many-Faced God) that gives her zero fear. And it mirrored, for me, when Sam stabbed the first White Walker – he had NFI who the guy was, he just stabbed him to protect himself. No hesitation.
JOSIE: Yeah you’re right, now that you say it, it def seemed like a nod to that Sam moment. I’ve always had a special love for Arya, and I felt so proud like she was my own bloody sister. Bit lame really, but we’ve been through so much with these characters and that was such an emotional moment. Of course when she stabbed him it ended the whole battle, not a minute too soon, might I add. Luckily Arya did not move at a glacial pace!
MEL: I think a lot of people would have felt that way, to be honest. She’s been the baddest bitch in Westeros since day dot, when she hit Joffrey for beating up that poor boy by the river (it’s been a while OK! I can’t remember details). I am so, so happy the writers chose Arya to do the deed. And then we got to see all the wights and White Walkers crumble, like a big game of dominos.
JOSIE: It was the coolest moment. I haven’t screamed like that in GoT for a long time. I cannot wait to see what these next three episodes hold now that the Big Bad is officially defrosted.
MEL: I know, like where do we go from here? Obviously there’s still Cersei to contend with down south. But who is alive? Who’s dead? Most importantly WHERE THE HELL IS LITTLE GHOSTY BOI IF HE’S DEAD I’LL LET OUT SOME WILDFIRE ON THESE PEOPLE.
To find out who made it out alive, head to our “Who Survived The Battle?” yarn HERE.
To see the trailer for the next episode, head to our article HERE.
For more of Mel and Josie, check out our Bachelor In Paradise recaps or All Aussie Mystery Hour podcast.