Game of ThronesTV ReviewsGame of Thrones (8×03) The Long Night Review

Keith NoakesApril 28, 201980/100
Miguel Sapochnik
David Benioff, D.B. Weiss
Running Time
82 minutes
Sundays 9pm
HBO Canada, HBO
Overall Score
Rating Summary
The Long Night and the battle for Winterfell was the grandest display the series has done so far, perhaps doing too much, but the episode would lose itself within its grand scale, making it difficult to connect with what was happening on an emotional level. Some big things may have happened here but they were not nearly as impactful as they could have.

For our review of the last episode of Game of Thrones, click here.

Synopsis: The Night King and his army have arrived at Winterfell and the great battle begins. (IMDB)

As expected, this episode was definitely bonkers though this would only be at its own detriment. The Battle for Winterfell which took up the majority of the episode would be definitely be the grandest display the series, known for grand displays, has done so far but this would come at a price. There may have been a lot going on here, however, it was too much which only made it tough to follow (this wouldn’t be the only reason) or become invested in all that was happening which was a little disappointing at this point in the series. Although some characters may not have survived, the overall emotional impact wasn’t quite there. That’s not to say that there weren’t any exciting moments to be had.

The actual episode started with everyone getting in position for the battle to come. They all stood there waiting forever it felt like until Melisandre would show up out of nowhere to offer some assistance and had no other motives surprisingly. The Dothraki with lit up swords began the battle then the others joined and things got much more chaotic from there. The frenetic camera and editing did not help to say the least. Daenerys and Jon joined in each riding a dragon who would do their thing until a storm made things difficult for them (Melisandre would later light up the way for them) and for us to watch. Meanwhile, Sansa got banished to the crypts.

Things may have looked dire for certain characters but it never felt like they were ever in any danger (and some never were). Despite the fact that the episode was shot at night, the lighting was also far too dark and the weather effects were to distinguish what was happening. The first wave would be too much, forcing everyone to retreat back within the walls. Meanwhile at the Godswood, Bran, Theon, and some soldiers waited for the Night King to arrive. The second wave began once the White Walkers found an ingenious way to pass through their lit trench before starting to swarm the walls.

The Night King arrived with his dragon as the White Walkers eventually got over the walls to reap some more havoc. There were also plenty of moments within the battle such as The Hound’s anxiety, Jaime and Brienne fighting together, Lyanna Mormont taking down a giant with her, a (choppy) dragon battle between Daenerys and Jon and the Night King, Arya being hounded by a herd of White Walkers through the halls of Winterfell (leading to the death of Beric Dondarrion).

In the crypts, Sansa got reacquainted with Tyrion once more to contemplate their lives. Tyrion thought he could help until he was given a reality check. Just watching them react to what they hearing from outside was tense. Meanwhile, the White Walkers managed to find a way into the crypts and would reap havoc there as well while Sansa and Tyrion hid.

The Goodswood finally got some action once the aforementioned dragon battle was heading there. The Night King got off and was unsurprisingly immune to dragon fire. When faced with Jon, the Night King summoned the dead to join his army and thus put a roadblock between he and Jon. Nevertheless, Jon (and the others including near the Godswood) would fight through it along with the other remaining White Walkers. Jon wouldn’t quite make it to Bran (walking around and watching the others fight while did some fighting himself) while Daenerys and her dragon would be swarmed off her dragon but Jorah was there to save her.

Theon was doing his part for Bran while Jorah was doing his part for Daenerys (who picked up a sword herself). Jorah was taking a lot of abuse but he persisted and they kept fighting until he would succumb to his injuries. The Night King showed up at the Godswood and with only Theon left to protect Bran, Bran said his goodbye and he took his shot and died for it. Things were looking bleak for many of the characters as the Night King approached Bran but he would be saved by Arya who stabbed the Night King with her dragonglass dagger thus killing him and all of his minions.

Not that her job was done, the episode ended with Melisandre taking her amulet off while walking through the battlefield before returning to her normal state and withering away.

The score during the final third of the episode was perfect. It brought plenty of emotion and it was a shame that the rest of the episode was lacking emotion.

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One comment

  • AZ

    April 29, 2019 at 7:59 AM

    Great review!

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