Game of Thrones: Battle of Winterfell Recap

If you have not watched Game of Thrones, do not continue reading because you know I did and I’m about to talk about it.

Last night’s episode of Game of Thrones was truly life changing and was unlike anything I have seen on television before. The entire episode took place at Winterfell and was the culmination of one of the shows biggest storylines. We finally got to see the the Night King die and the army of the dead defeated. In my opinion, this episode was the best episode the series has ever produced and I am no longer mad that it took nearly two years for season 8 to be released. I was initially dissapointed by the start of the season, just because I knew it is only going to be six episodes and nothing really had happened in those episodes. We learned nothing new in those episodes but the redeeming quality to me was the fireside scenes in episode 2 with Tyrion, Brienne, Tormund, Jamie and Podrick. Brienne getting knighted was the best scene of the episode and I’m not going to lie I cried a litte.
Now onto last night’s episode. Last night was full of redemption for a few characters who have undoubtablely made many mistakes throughout the run of the show. These redemptive moments came shortly before death for most of these characters. Melisandre is the woman we all love to hate, some just strongly hate, however she really came in clutch for the big battle. The episode started with her lighting up the swords of all the Dothraki and sending them off to face the whitewalkers with flaming swords. Audiences, or at least the cousins I watched the episode with, went crazy many a fist bumps were executed. Along with viewers, the flaming swords lifted the spirits of all those at Winterfell, making them think they potentially stood a chance. We all know this didn’t work out but she did try. She also lit up the trenches, holding off the whitewalkers for a solid minute but also leading Daeny and Jon back to Winterfell when they couldn’t see through the snow. Melisandre also prompted Arya to be her kickass self and knife the night king. The episode then ended with the Red Woman taking of her necklace, becoming an old lady, falling to the ground and turning into dust. We hated you for a number of reasons, like maybe burning a twelve year old girl alive, but you were very beneficial in WInterfell’s time of need so I guess I can forgive you.
Our other redeptee of the night was Theon Greyjoy. In my eyes, Theon gained redemption in season 5 when he helped Sansa run away from psycho killer Ramsey Bolton, but I guess I’m alone in this. Moments before his very sad death Theon was told by Bran, the person who he betrayed the most in my opinion, that all was forgiven, that Winterfell will always be Theon’s home and that he is a great man for which Bran is thankful for. I’m so happy Bran came out of his three eyed raven mood for two seconds to give Theon what he needed. Theon’s character development has been amazing and I will miss him for the rest of the season. He died a hero and I cried like a baby.
The episode featured deaths of characters people have loved from the start and some who fans really had no opinions on. The first character to go was Dolorous Edd, Sam and Jon’s fellow brother of the Night’s Watch. He died directly after saivng Sam and it sucked but I really had no emotionl connection to him. The next character to bite the dust was Beric Dondarrion who died for the final time after saving Arya from a swarm of whitewalkers. This death was a little harder for me to digest but the ending of the episode made it easier for me to get over. Looking at the big bicture, I mean it still sucks but I could understand why it was necessary. Following Beric was the death that really got to me and caused tears to flow down my face endlessly. Lyanna Mormont died in the most ganster way possible. I of course would have preferred she didn’t die but if she had to, this was the way I would have wanted it to happen. As the big strong men were running awat in fear of the whitewalker giant, tiny Lyanna grabbed a dragonstone sword and plunged it into the giant’s eye. She took down the biggest, baddest thing on the battlefield and died a badass. When she came back as a whitewalker, I cried even harder than when she died but was so preoccupied by the fact that Jon was now surrounded by hundreds of whitewalkers freshly resurrected by the night king that I quickly forgot about it. By the way, that was such a punk move of the night king. Fight your own battles man, stop playing so dirty. Lastly, we saw Jorah Mormont die protecting the one woman he has ever loved. The moment he died and the visual of Daeny literally sobbing over his dead body threw me over the edge. I didn’t realize how much I liked Jorah until he was dying. His death was really symbolic and I think I knew he was going to die, yet I still was sorely unprepared for it.
Time to talk about the true hero of the battle, Arya Stark. I have always been one of those Arya haters that thinks her character is a little overrated and wanted more from a character than the need to kill. Last night Arya was amazing. She came face to face with two people on her hit list yet didn’t kill Melisandre and showed great mercy and sadness towards Beric when he was dying. This is a side of Arya we haven’t seen before, one in which she is forgiving and a little more human. If she saw these people under different circumstances she probably would have killed them, but I think she understood that they were all there for a greater purpose and everything else needed to be put aside.
I’m a little upset at myself that I didn’t figure out that she was going to be the one to kill the Night King after her conversation with Melisandre, but there was so much other important stuff going on and plus she disapeared for like thirty minutes. She was the last thing on my mind until I saw her face behind the Night King. I think most people assumed the blue eyes Melisandre told her she would shut forever, when Arya and her met in season 2, would in fact be Melisandre’s. Even after she said it in this episode, it didn’t click. I just thought she meant that Arya was going to kill a bunch a whitewalkers. As if that isn’t enough Melisandre also quoted Syrio Forel asking Arya, “what do we say to the god of death?” to which Arya responds, “Not today.” The Night King is literally the god of death. I should have known. Looking back I feel so stupid but I mean I know I’m not alone in not knowing so I don’t feel so bad.
Arya’s entire storyline throughout the series now makes sense. There is a reason Syrio was her teacher, there was a reason she met Jaquen H’gar and was trained by him, there was a reason Bran gave her the Valyrian steel blade which was intended to kill him and lastly, there is a reason Beric was resurrected so many times. All of these puzzle pieces have been layed out in front of us the whole time and we just had to put them together. Arya was always destined to kill the Night King. For the people complaining that there is no way she would have been able to get past all those whitewalkers in order to get to the Night King, clearly didn’t see that one of them did notice that she was there but due to her stealth and her training with the faceless men, she was too quick to be caught. The scene inside the castle library proved she is able to evade them. She’s a badass assasin and I expected nothing less from her. I’m so happy it wasn’t Jon that killed her because that would have just been too predictable and cliche. He was so useless this whole episode and I loved it.
Now I’ll just patiently wait until next week when hopefully Clegane Bowl happens in the next episode.

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