Warning: Spoilers ahead.
The highly anticipated third episode of this season's "Game of Thrones" was an action-packed roller coaster ride that left fans dizzying over the heroics of Arya Stark, the show's most fearsome protagonist, and a handful of characters who died trying to save mankind.
After last week's emotional scenes, much of the hype heading into Sunday's episode, entitled "The Longest Night," centered on which of the beloved characters would die in the episode. With the Night King and Army of the Dead closing in, chances for everyone to survive appeared dim at best, even with two dragons in the wings.
The 82-minute episode, the show's longest ever, did not disappoint. Entertainment Weekly reports it was the longest consecutive battle sequence ever committed to film, surpassing the iconic war scene in "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers."
These major characters met their demise in the epic episode:
- The Night King
- Jorah Mormont
- Dolorous Edd
- Lyanna Mormont
- Beric Dondarrion
- Theon Greyjoy
Before charging at White Walkers and wights, Melisandre reappeared in timely fashion and lit up the Dothraki's weapons, giving everyone a ray of hope (and a spectacular sight) in the middle of the night. That was short-lived, as the violent warriors were easily killed off by the dead. The dread for "Game of Thrones" fans on Twitter began to sink in.
Grey Worm, the Unsullied, Brienne of Tarth, Jaime Lannister, Tormund Giantsbane, the Hound, Ghost and others did their best to fight off the dead on the battlefield, but with little success. The acting Night's Watch commander Dolorous Edd was killed. A fiery trench did nothing to stop inevitable disaster as White Walkers climbed the walls around Winterfell and even more dead emerged from crypts — a supposed safe zone where Sansa Stark, Tyrion Lannister, women, elderly and children were hiding.
Amid the terror happening, Lyanna Mormont, the tiny but fierce head of House Mormont, was hoisted in the air and crushed by a zombie giant. While in its clutches, she managed to deliver a final blow to the monster by striking its eye with dragon glass before her own death. She was hailed as a hero.
Daenerys was going through a plight of her own. Atop Drogon, she clashed with the Night King, who was flying her former dragon Viserion. She fell off her dragon and faced a scary standoff with the dead, but fortunately, the Mother of Dragons was saved by Jorah Mormont, who died the way he likely would have wanted, defending his queen.
Meanwhile, Arya Stark was fighting for her life. The Army of the Dead chased her throughout Winterfell and it looked like she would meet her end. She was saved by Beric Dondarrion (who finally dies) and her one-time mortal enemy, the Hound. Arya's final interaction with Melisandre was a defining moment for the character, who spent the majority of the show training to be a ruthless assassin.
Melisandre asks, "What do we tell death?"
Arya answers, "Not today."
She understood it as a reference from Season 3 when Melisandre told her, "I see a darkness in you. And in that darkness, eyes staring back at me. Brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes. Eyes sealed shut forever."
The blue eyes were in reference to the Night King. Green eyes possibly refers to Cersei Lannister, one of Arya's presumed hit list targets.
After Melisandre gives her the nod, Arya subtly ran off to the Winterfell Godswood, where the Night King had finished killing off Theon Greyjoy, who stood up for an immobile Brandon Stark. Then out of nowhere, Arya jumped to slay the Night King, but he grabbed her by the neck. She skillfully maneuvered around his grasp, quickly took the valyrian steel dagger Bran gave her and plugged it into the Night King, who shattered like glass, along with the rest of the Army of the Dead. Bran's plan almost didn't work, but thanks to his sister, everyone in Westeros was saved.
Judging by next week's preview, it appears Ghost is still alive and everyone will now move south toward King's Landing to confront Cersei in what Daenerys dubbed the "last war."
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