Winter came, there were thunder and lightning, but the storm they promised became mere rain. Yes, it was a visually beautiful episode with a spectacular production level. Once again the director Miguel Sapochnik , who was in charge of episodes like Battle of the Bastards (6×9) and Winds of Winter (6×10), offered a memorable battle and used the zombies to take the series to levels of a movie of terror.
The composer Ramin Djawadi enriched the series with the new theme The Night King that brought intrigue and beauty to The Battle of Winterfell . The outstanding visual effects, the references to previous episodes, the turns in the character of some characters and the brave death of all those who offered their lives, created an epic battle.
But, then, in what failed? In betraying his argument and the rules he had imposed.
In the first episode of the series is shown the three great dangers that exist in history: the White Walkers , who threaten to destroy everything that is alive; the Iron Throne , whose representation of power corrupts and drives those who crave it insane, and the conflicts between the characters themselves.
Throughout the series, these enemies changed positions: the battle between the characters took a leading role, then there was the throne and finally the White Walkers . For the last seasons, once again and among the many allusions to the first delivery, the order of priorities returned to its original state. As Jon Snow never tires : “The only war that matters is the Great War, and it is here” (7×07 – The Dragon and the Wolf )
But after the third episode of this eighth and final season, everything seems to indicate that the Great War was not the big deal. That Jon Snow , Bran Stark , among others, and the northern legends were lying about the fate of the entire continent depending on winning or not winning the battle against the dead. The reason? Beat your main threat in a single confrontation, with a number of casualties well below those expected and in one fell swoop.
Game of Thrones and its worst episode? Courtesy – HBO
During each season, and almost in dropping, the Night King and the White Walkers were gaining strength as real dangers. Let’s not say so much that he was a villain like Ramsay Bolton or Joffrey Baratheon since he does not lean toward good or evil, but is a representation of death.
He was a character that was characterized by all the mysticism that was around him, from his creation, the marks he left, how he created other beings like him and his intentions. Not counting the expectations and theories that were emerging after each of his appearances.
In addition, his cold calmness also stood out. In the episode Hardhome (5×08) he did not try to kill Jon Snow (The Viserion resurrection confirms that the zombies do swim, or he could kill him with a spear), but he taught him his power by raising the dead. He also did not want to do it in the episode Beyond the Wall (7×06), once the water factor is in between, but that was more of a psychological attack (as soon as the lake freezes you are dead). Even his own army of zombies, which we know can run without getting tired, moved at a slow pace with him, perhaps with the calm of someone who knows that destiny can not be changed.
In addition, he was an adversary capable of killing dragons and even being immune to his fire (remembering that dragons have been the most powerful weapon in the history of Westeros). But not only that, the Night King represented much more within this medieval fantasy story. He was the incarnation of the Long Night, the one that old Tata ( Lord Snow 01×3) said it was time to be afraid, “when the snow reaches 30 meters, the sun is hidden for years and the children are born, live and they die in complete darkness. ” That was the reason why the Night’s Watch was created and El Muro was built, dividing the northerners into southerners and savages. As Ygritte mentioned: “They came to our lands, they built a big wall and they said it was theirs, then they started to hunt us” (4×09 – The Watchers on the Wall ). His first great appearance, thousands of years ago, had repercussions until the continent of Essos . In lands like Asshai , where Lady Melisandre is from , the return of the Night King was expected and with it the appearance of a warrior who will defeat him: The prince who was promised.
Arya killed him with a dagger. Just like that. Thousands of years of history, eight seasons giving shape to the most intriguing and powerful character of the series, to kill him in one fell swoop, in one fight, without even a confrontation. Yes, there was a battle that will surely remain in the history of television, but there was never a direct confrontation with the Night King , except that “dance of dragons”. It was as if HBO had not known what to do with the monster he created that is Game of Thrones .
To put it another way: It is as if the next episode meet in King’s Landing , and call a vote for the people to choose between Cersei , Jon and Daenerys to stay with the Iron Throne . Does the viewer really want to see the resolution of a conflict that has been going on for eight seasons, without counting on the story that is being told behind, in the easiest way and without the expected and promised battle?
Is the battle for power really more important than survival? Because yes, the government of Cersei may not be that of José Mujica , but if we compare it with the arrival of the army of the dead and the sure annihilation of all living beings, surely the balance of importance would favor the White Walkers .
After this and as far as the series goes, the real enemy was not the army of thousands of undead, with its ice dragon and its captain who has been hanging around the Night Mountains for thousands of years, but a widow who He lost his family and lives confined to his castle: Cersei Lannister .
Game of Thrones and its worst episode? Courtesy – HBO
And not only the character of Night King is downgraded to secondary plot, but also the prophecies with which the series has played to build its plot are affected.
“The prince (or princess) that was promised”, the one that Melisandre thought was Stannis Baratheon and then Jon Snow , as this is the union between fire and ice ( Targaryen and Stark ). Or the priestess Kinvara who gave this title to Daenerys . (T he Door 06×5).
Without this prophecy, Melisandre would not have supported Stannis and events such as the Battle of the Five Kings , Renly’s Death, Brienne’s escape, then his mission with Jaime , and everything else he unleashed would not have happened.
Even the song that Podrick sings at the end of the second episode of this eighth season Jenny of Oldstones speaks in some way about that prophecy, where a strange old woman who accompanies Jenny to the court of the Targaryen prophesies that the union of Aerys ( The crazy king ) and Rhaella Targaryen , would be born The prince who was promised.
Now, and for the moment, that legendary hero who was going to bring the light after the Long Night , falls on the shoulders of Arya Stark to beat the Night King .
Arya, a character that breaks the mold of the lady to take the warrior, whose current image is a symbol of female empowerment, but whose presence or absence in the main story of the series does not change anything compared to Jon or Daenerys . The birth of Jon caused the great rebellion of Roberth Baratheon and the end of the Targaryen dynasty, and Daenerys brought dragons to the world after hundreds of years. “Red comets only mean one thing: dragons” – Osha (1×10 – Fire and Blood )
And yes, it could have been unexpected, surprising, Arya could have trained all this time for that moment, but as beloved as a character, no matter how much she breaks the princess mold she needs, she can not be given the prominence a character just to please some and destroy all the history that has been built so far.
But is it too close to the prophecies? No. Game of Thrones has not used prophecy as a simple ornament, but as clues to the future. So far all have been fulfilled, those that Maggy La Frog did to Cersei about their children (5×01 The Wars To Come ), which Melisandre herself does to Arya or Varys , all have been placed within the series to be fulfilled . So, how can you not fulfill the main one?
Even the vision that Daenerys has in the House of the Eternal (2×10 Valar Morghulis ) when he arrives at a throne room devastated by war and winter, would not be fulfilled.
It only remains to wait if really the prophecy of The Prince that was promised was fulfilled in Arya Stark or is a warning that even the battle of the Long Night is not over. And that the Night King was just a warning of what’s to come.
Game of Thrones and its worst episode? Courtesy – HBO
Nobody died Yes, there were casualties like Jorah Mormont , Lyana Mormont or Eddison Tollet , but in a series that has been characterized by killing the most emblematic characters, that at the climax of their history (because the battle of the living against the dead was the great war predicted from the beginning) there are no deaths like Jaime Lannister , Brienne de Tarth , another member of the Stark family or even Ghost or another dragon, once again downplays the Great War . Especially after two episodes without any death, again in a series that has accustomed you to the opposite.
Gray Worm , who was trained not to know fear, faces death and succumbs. Yes, he fought valiantly until the end and manages to survive, but in order to do so he sacrifices a large number of his immaculate brothers by closing the trenches and condemning them to death. Will this decision have any consequences for him?
The Hound finally defeats his arsonfobia to save Arya and Ser Beric Dondarrion fulfills his mission, also to protect little Stark , to finally die.
Lady Melisandre prophesied his death before dawn and so it happened. His destiny could well be compared to that of Biblical Moses, who did not get to see the promised land. Melisandre during the battle doubts her faith. When he tries to light the perimeters, as he did with the arakh of the Dothrakis , but when it does not happen in the first instance, doubt is seen on his face. When Melisandre asks Ser Beric Dondarrion (3×06 The Climb ), what is there after death? He replies that there is no other side, only darkness. And one way to analyze the final scene is that: Melisandre walks in the midst of the dead, leaves the darkness towards dawn, to finally meet her god.
A world too happy
Everything seems to be over. The trailer for the next episode shows an idyllic world. The North finally celebrating with Daenerys , more romantic scenes and even the sun shining after winter. Yes, they still have to beat Cersei , but if they managed to defeat an army of thousands of zombies, a dragon, White Walkers and the Night King that controls the weather, what is an army of men?
If the accounts do not fail, the Dothrakis almost perished in their entirety, the immaculate ones were also easy prey for the dead, and the northerners along with the savages had already had great casualties after Battle of the Bastards . This makes Cersei’s army a real power. Also, as Jon Snow said last season, Daenerys does not want to use his dragons to get The Throne, since that could mean the death of thousands of innocents.
Will the few Greyjoys who remain in battle join? Will Daario Naharis appear with reinforcements from Essos ? Or the battle against the dead was even less important, which survived an army sufficient to strengthen the Gold Company .
Here perhaps you can also find the plot twist that returns the story to its original course: The Return of the Night King … or Night Queen .
If we analyze a little the last scenes of episode three of this season, we will see that it did not show what Bran did while he owned the crows. Yes, they flew north, but it would not make sense to simply do a “reconnaissance flight” knowing perfectly well that the enemy was coming towards him.
Nor did he do anything to stop or defend the Night King. Did you know that Arya would appear?
Also, it is thought that the Night King wants to kill Bran because he said it, but Bran really does not know, (just as he did not know if the dragon fire killed the Night King ) since his training as Three Eyed Raven never ended ( practically did not start). That, more than an attack to kill him, seemed like a ceremony. The surrounding zombies, the White Walkers waiting. Was the Night King really going to kill Bran or did his meeting mean the beginning of something else?
Whatever the answer or the theories, there are still three episodes in which you can give an unexpected twist to the story, the apparent calm is interrupted and the Night King does not become one of the most wasted characters in history from the television.