The most interesting and substantial conflict in Game of Thrones is over. That’s right, the Night King is no more and the army of the dead has been defeated.
We all assumed this day would happen and now that it has, the most interesting part of the story is over. With wrapping up the central conflict in GoT, ‘The Long Night’ joins other similar television moments like Pam and Jim’s wedding, Don leaving McCann Erickson for California and Walt getting in the vacuum repair van. And just like with The Office, Mad Men and Breaking Bad, we will all keep watching because we need to know how the story ends even if we know the story is already over.
Which is not to say this episode was bad, it wasn’t. In fact, I don’t think it is hyperbole to say this was the most ambitious 82 minutes in cable television history. Famously, this episode took 55 nights to film and for all intents and purposes, could stand alone as short movie. A really, really good short movie.
Sure, the overall darkness of the filming made the episode physically more difficult to view and there were a few plot holes, but come on…let’s see you do better.
A legitimate criticism is that too many main characters survived. Believe me, I am not part of, as The Sopranos creator David Chase puts it, the ‘hits and tits’ crowd, but the characters who survived wore both real and plot armor. In fact, the main characters were so safe that I wouldn’t have been surprised to see Daryl Dixon pull up on a motorcycle and start yelling at a zombie dragon with Jon.
THE LADIES SAVE THE DAY
The ladies of the Seven Kingdoms sure put on a show. In an episode that saw Jon ‘I’m so handsome that no one realizes how dumb I am’ Snow yell at a Zombie Dragon, Samwell Tarly complete wimp out and The Hound do his Frankenstein’s Monster/Fire routine, the women saved the day.
The battle scenes, which were practically every scene, were superbly executed. Dread and action were both equally represented and none of the characters final scenes went in vain. Especially yours, Lyanna Mormont. Get you some.
Another lady who showed some serious grit was Danerys. Sure, she shouldn’t have landed in the field of wights or hung around within spear chucking distance of the Night King, but she ended up being every bit as tough with a sword as with a dragon. Maybe even tougher.
And I would be remissed without mentioning Arya. Holy smokes, that leap came out of nowhere.
Kudos for having the guts to try this move and tossing the dagger to Bran for the kill shot. That was some serious Gary Payton to Shawn Kemp old school basketball.
Edit: For some reason, I thought Arya gave an assist to Bran. It turns out that I am kind of dumb. Arya did the deed herself. #GirlPower
As the central conflict of GoT has been resolved, the ladies will decide what comes next. Come to think of it, from Dorn to Winterfell, they kind of always have.
#5) Sansa Stark – Sansa drops two places this week as she spent her time during the siege in the crypt flirting with Tyrion, comforting children, and insulting the ‘Dragon Queen’ while Daenerys was out on the battle field whooping some zombie ass. It is completely plausible that the Northerners will fall in line with Daenerys after this battle.
#4) Euron Greyjoy – A new comer into the power rankings, Euron leapfrogs Jon Snow/Aegon Targaryen because Jon pulls a lot of Jon stuff. Also, Euron controls the largest armada in the history of the world and will kill anyone (I’m looking at you, Cersai Lannister) who stands in the way of him claiming the throne.
#3) Bran Stark/The Three Eyed Raven – Another fresh face(s) in the rankings. I don’t trust this guy(s). Where did he go when he worged? Was he helping the Night King? Is Bran the Night King? Creeporama. Regardless, he can do some funky and powerful shit and is a force to be reckoned with.
#2) Daenerys Targaryen – Danny jumps up three spots to #2 because of her all around bad assery. However, she doesn’t take the top spot due to her hot temper and the fact that she landed Drogon in the middle of a field of wights. Cersai wouldn’t have done that.
#1) Cersai Lannister – Cersai retains her spot at #1 due to the fact that there is no more Night King and that her three combined armies (Lannister, Iron Born, Gold Company) did not lose a single soldier during this episode. Also, King’s Landing seems to be equipped with a bounty of Qyburn’s dragon slaying crossbows.
SEE YOU AT THE CROSSROADS
- Lyanna Mormont – A fan favorite and all around bad ass, Lyanna will be missed.
- Jorah Mormont – Jorah finally got his wish and died protecting the woman he loved. Weirdo.
- Theon Greyjoy – Good riddance to the Trailer Park of the Sea’s prodigal son. Other than the Freys, the Greyjoys are the worst house and are every bit as trashy. I would like to think that Bran telling Theon that ‘he was a good man’ was just a ploy to get Theon killed. The Greyjoys are seriously gross.
- Edd – ‘And now his watch is ended’. The last of the Jon and Sam Knight’s Watch class, Ed never made it into bed with a woman, but did make it to episode #70.
- Melisandre – A redeemable moment for a character past redemption.
- Beric Dondarrion – Now we know why the Lord of Light kept bringing him back. Sweet sword, dude.
- The Night King – He and Bran are the same dude, right?
ODDS & ENDS
- The most potentially sad moment of the episode was when Jon saw Sam being overwhelmed and walked away from bailing his heterosexual life partner out one last time. Jon stuck to his mission and used his brain for a change.
- Is anyone else rooting for a potential Stark/Lannister house party? In the crypt, Sansa and Tyrion had some pretty great chemistry.
- How do you say goodbye in Dothraki? That was awesome.
- QUIT. YELLING. AT. DRAGONS.
- When are we going to see Bronn and the Lannister family heirloom.