So, we got here. After seven-plus seasons, “The Long Night” came to Westeros. It was dark, it was gritty, it was confusing, it was emotional, and it was my favorite episode of Game Of Thrones to date. At least top-three.
Let’s just get this out of the way: I don’t care that it was dark. Apparently, something technical happened on HBO, but turn ya brightness up. It was fine on my TV. And I like the chaotic, unsettling feeling that it gave me. Because, from what I understand, that is war. And why do you want to see the face of Dothraki #9620? You could see all the faces that you needed to see. Anyway, that sucks for you if it took away your enjoyment of the episode. I was good.
-There was no “Previously on Game Of Thrones” or nothing. Just straight into the credits. LET’S GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO………….
-It starts with the montage of everyone walking around Winterfell, getting ready for the Night King and his squad. Sam being a punk ALREADY. Lyanna yellin’ at people. Tyrion and Bran have a look. What did Bran tell him when they were having storytime, that likely got cut short by this? Tyrion even says…..I’ll get to that later. The dragons make their appearance, while the Unsullied and the Dothraki are waiting, and it’s funny that THEY were the ones that had to go in the front, but we know what it is about. Edd knows damn well that Sam shouldn’t be out here, he ain’t built for this. Jon and Dany, Arya and Sansa, everyone is just waiting for something to happen. A horse comes out of nowhere, and Davos knew exactly who it was. Melisandre returns, as she said she would, does her little spell magic shit and BOOM, FIRE SWORDS. Melisandre would be great at housewarming parties. Shows up with flaming weapons. And she speaks to Grey Worm in his language, because of course, she is bilingual.
-She meets up with Davos and tells him that she’ll be dead before dawn, and she shoots Arya a look. They haven’t talked since Season 3 and wouldn’t you know, that shit comes back to be important. So much stuff has happened in this show that I’ve forgotten like 85% of it. Now, armed with their flaming swords, Jorah leads the Dothraki into the forest, and Ghost rides with them, I forgot he was still around. Anyway, they finally meet the wights and well, that didn’t go well for them at all. All the fire was extinguished, and Jorah rode back with a few dudes like, uhhhhhhhhhh, we’re in trouble, y’all. This shit is ominous, man. You can hear them coming, and after what just happened, I have no idea how half of them haven’t fainted yet. I’d be in that castle so damn fast, you’d have to kill me anyway. Oh, one dude did run away. That would be me. Anyway, they’re gettin’ rolled by the wights, but Dany, Jon and the dragons swoop into action and hit that Dracarys on ’em. Now, I feel like that should have happened a little earlier, but dramatic license and all. Also, Dany has never been a tactical genius and really, neither has Jon. But they got dragons, and that helps, at least for now. Anyway, it’s on and poppin’ now. A snowstorm blows through the place and that means the Night King gotta be around somewhere.
-Arya tells Sansa, if you get your ass on down to the crypts and take this knife, which Sansa doesn’t even know how to use. Meanwhile, Bran, Theon and the Ironborn are at the Tree of the Faces, and then it’s back to Sam, who I think manages to stab a wight, but then almost died and then Edd died tryna save him. Yep, that’s on you, buddy. Just take your ass down to the crypts, b. We won’t fault you. You were fine to go down there. We all know this ain’t you.
-Jon, still with his dragon’s beginner’s license, can’t stop flying the dragon into trees and runs into Dany, which makes sense because you’re not supposed to be able to see. On the battlefield, Lyanna yells to fall back and mufuckas is like, FINALLY, THIS SUCKS. They open the gates, and Grey Worm tells his boys to protect the retreat, which is noble of him, because the hell with that. These people don’t love us, bruh.
-Arya saves the Hound with an arrow to a wight that was chasing him, so they’re even now, for everything. And then the command is given to light the pointy trenches, which again, probably should have been lit a little earlier, but hey, what are ya gon’ do? But Melisandre, the real MVP, finally gets the trenches to light with her little spells and magic, and man, y’all should have never kicked her out of the fold. Or did she leave? I dunno, but dammit, she would have been good to have around. Dany looks down like, fuck is goin’ on down there, and does another flyby with the dragon, and they get to chill for a minute, go get some Powerade, have a cigarette, whatever you need. The Hound is like, you know what, this is bullshit and I’m out. He is NOT a fan of fire.
-Tyrion and Varys are down in the crypts and Tyrion says, hey, maybe we should be up there, we might see something everyone else is missing, and as I was getting to earlier…..what did Bran tell him about all this? Tyrion, while he has made some mistakes, is still arguably the smartest person on this show. You would think that Bran would have told him something that makes a difference. Maybe he told him about Jon and Dany? I dunno, and really, Tyrion needs to keep his ass in the crypts. But I do get what he is saying. And he did get down at the Battle of the Blackwater, but he did need to get saved by Pod. Anyway, Tyrion and Sansa talk, the first of many “are they gon’ hook up” moments in this episode. Sansa did say that Tyrion was the best of her husbands, which is like, the LOWEST of bars that anyone has to get over. Joffrey? Ramsay? Not a husband, but Littlefinger? Basically, Tyrion simply needs to not be a psychopath and he is good. But Sansa is like, the Dragon Queen wouldn’t be a fan of that and Missandei pipes up like, why you talkin’ about my girl like that, without her, y’all would have been DEAD DEAD. And Sansa is like, shit, she is gon’ run and tell Dany that.
-At the Face Tree (I’ll alternate between the two), Theon tries to apologize for being a fuckboy, and Bran basically says it’s all good and he’s home, but NAH. And then he’s like, I’m going to go now and Theon is like, huh, and BOOM, Raven Bran is in the house, squawkin’ and shit. They fly up on the Night King, who instructs the wights to basically lay on the fire and smother hit, and build a wight bridge to get through because why not, he can bring you back to life (or whatever it is) anytime he wants. Davos is like, you gotta be kiddin’ me. He just needs that on a cloak. He perpetually has that look on his face. Jon is like, OH SHIT, HE GOT A DRAGON, TOO.
-So now, we have a dragon handicap match going on in the air, while the wights are storming the walls after smothering fire. And we are only 40 minutes in. I’ve already smoked half a pack of cigarettes in my head so far.
-Finally, the Unsullied come inside. Good grief.
-Gendry looks like he is going to have a panic attack, but he gets to fightin’. Sam even gets one. Jesus, there are SO FRIGGIN’ MANY OF THESE THINGS. At least four times during this battle, I thought it was over for the living. Sam gets saved AGAIN, and he oscillates between survival mode and punk mode. Bruh, just pick one. You’re pissing me off. Meanwhile, The Hound is actually having a panic attack and Arya comes through SWINGIN’, just rollin’ through these wights like nothing. Beric is like, yo, Hound, you gotta sac up.
-Lyanna meets Wight Wun-Wun, the big-ass giant from the wildlings, although there is no confirmation that it is him. He died in “The Battle of the Bastards“, but I’ma just assume that he got picked up the Night King and if he didn’t, meh, it’s Wight Wun-Wun. He comes through and crushes everything, while The Hound continues to be a Negative Nancy about the whole situation. Then Beric is like, look at Arya then, and switch back to Lyanna, who gets her soul crushed by Wight Wun-Wun, but not before she sticks him in his blue eye. Right now, pour somethin’ out for Lyanna. She did that so you ain’t have to go through that, shouts to Hov.
-The Night King comes out of nowhere to get the dragon handicap match started, and does just enough to be like, yeah, I got a dragon, bitch, what y’all wanna do?
-Then, for me, the best part of the episode. Arya is somewhere in the castle, sneaking around, using her degree, and I was a mess during this part. The suspense damn near gave me a conniption. Maisie Williams needs ALL of these awards for this episode.
-The people in the crypts know that some not-good shit is goin’ down upstairs and that it might not be long before it comes to them. Sansa keeps a straight face, which is probably the best thing she can do right now. But she’s seen ’em. Ain’t gon’ be good.
-Beric and The Hound, who finally snapped out of it because Arya is involved, saves her and they run away. Beric gets stabbed no less than 47 times, but sacrifices himself so that they can get away. I have no idea what the rules are in terms of how many times you can come back, I don’t even know how many times he has been brought back. But he did die like a G. But yo, could you leave us the flaming sword? That would be handy.
-Arya and the Hound make their way into a room and barricade it, and fuckin’ Melisandre creeps out of the shadows out of nowhere. Arya says that Melisandre said they would meet again, and that she would shut many eyes….brown eyes, green eyes, and blue eyes. Then she hits Arya with that “and what do we say to the God of Death”, and Arya responds with, “not today”, and just runs the fuck off, Hound be damned. So, again, I forgot about this, but Arya’s former teacher, Syrio Forel, used to say that to her back in the day, like Season 1. Turns out we don’t even know if Syrio Forel was actually killed by Meryn Trant. Arya just believed that he did it, so she killed him. I mean, I doubt they bring him back, but at this point, I’m never leaving anything off the table. In fact, I think it would make people mad, so I want it to happen.
-The wights reach the Tree of Faces and get to fightin’ Theon and his people, while the Night King and his dragon get to the castle and start messin’ that up. But Jon and Dany and the Night King is knocked off his dragon, which should have been the first clue that the Night King wasn’t shit. Jon gets knocked off his dragon, too, and both of them go down, but Dany still has hers, which should give her a huge advantage, right? So she flies over to the Night King to Dracarys his ass, and he’s on some “Dirt Off Your Shoulders” shit like, did you REALLY think that would work? Walked out that fire like the Terminator, and SMILED at Dany. But then, he missed that shot at her dragon, which he has done before. For whatever reason, he can’t seem to hit Drogon, going back to last season when she went to rescue Jon and they lost Viserion.
-The Night King started raising the dead and Jon is right in the middle of it, which is hilarious, because Jon KNOWS he can do this. But the people in the castle don’t, and Jaime, Sam, Grey Worm and everyone is like, OH COME ON THIS IS NOT FAIR. Wight Lyanna is about to be a PROBLEM. The Night King is kind of a punk, it’s like he is scared to shoot the fair one with Jon. But I mean, those who can do, right? This is war. And then Morris Day and the Time roll up to Winterfell to join the Night King, while the crypts start to break open with the dead. Now, I know that putting them in the crypts probably was stupid, but that being said, where else were they going to go? It’s not like you could put them on a Greyhound and send ’em, shoot, where would you even send them? I’m open to suggestions.
-Dany saves Jon by burning the wights surrounding him, so he can go into the castle. But then she does the most annoying thing in the episode. Why would you put the dragon on the ground, where the wights would get on him? So now, you might be down two dragons because Jon’s is fucked up, and yours looks like it is covered in fire ants. She gets thrown off and is about to get killed, but LORD FRIENDZONE TO THE RESCUE. I shit on Jorah a lot, but I respect him as a fighter and he gets busy. It doesn’t look good for Jaime, Brienne and company as they’re outnumbered so very bad, and Jon is runnin’ through the fight, killin’ things and he sees Sam almost die, but looks at him like, why the hell aren’t you down in the crypts anyway, and I don’t have time to save you.
-Theon runs out of arrows and goes on a killing spree at the Faces Tree, and it’s still middle fingers up to Theon Alouitious Greyjoy and everyone that loves him and he loves.
-Sansa and Tyrion have another moment as they hide and he kisses her hand, and I’m like, are y’all REALLY about to kiss NOW? It looks bleak for the crew as Jon almost gets burned by the Night Dragon, Jaime and Brienne are still gettin’ fucked it, Grey Worm is fightin’, Jorah and Dany get to swingin’ and I didn’t know Dany got down like that, and she is tryna help, but Jorah is gettin’ fucked up. The little girl from last week with the soup is downstairs and I guess she wasn’t Melisandre. Sansa is hiding. There is a lot going on right now.
-And the music starts. This might be the best musical piece of the series, from basically now to the very end. The way it goes with the action, again, more awards for everyone.
-Raven Bran is still hangin’ out, waiting for the Night King. Brienne, one-hand-ass Jaime and Pod manage to hold off two provinces full of wights against a wall. The Night King makes his slow walk up to Bran with his security detail, and I get excited because Theon’s about to get folded like a Rubik’s Cube. Bran snaps out of it and lies to Theon, telling him he is a good man, and no, the fuck he is not. But bruh, he didn’t even try, he more or less just ran into the Night King’s spear. Good. He deserved worse. So much worse. I wish the Night King brought Wight Ramsay back just to mess with Theon for a little bit more. BYE, BITCH.
-Jon, in the funniest part of the episode, tries to sneak up on the Night Dragon, which turns around and sees him and Jon is like, NOAP. He hides behind something and somehow avoids getting torched. Jorah is still fighting somehow, and he has been stabbed at least 14 times at this point. The Night King has been walking to Raven Bran for like, two hours now, but he finally gets there. Jon pulls off the second-funniest part of the episode as he gets fed all the way up, stands up, turns around, and YELLS IN THE DRAGON’S FACE. Is Jon the original “I wanna speak to your manager”? But he has done this before. Stood in front in Ramsay’s army. I’m sure he did some dumb shit like this in the Night’s Watch. He stays standing in front of danger doing dumb shit.
-The Night King slooooooooooooooooooowly reaches for his sword, while his Secret Service is like, aye, do y’all feel something? Arya comes flying out of nowhere, wearing what I can only assume are the most ninja of ninja shoes, but the Night King catches her with one hand by the neck. But she does the MJ switch-hands-in-mid-air joint (shouts to Blake Griffin’s tweet) and hits homeboy in the stomach with a dagger, and not only a dagger, a dagger that Raven Bran gave Arya. The dagger that his would-be assassin carried in Season 1. It went through some other hands, ended up with Littlefinger, who gave it back to Bran, who gave it to Arya. Did he know that she would need it to save his life? Shoot, probably. He’s Raven Bran. Dude knows everything. He doesn’t wanna tell anybody anything, but he knows, I guess. I dunno. Bran gets a solid C over. I feel like he could have done more. Now that this is all done, sit around a campfire that is basically burning bodies at this point, and just tell everyone everything.
-Anyway, Arya kills the Night King, and all the White Walkers and the wights and the Night Dragon and all ’em, everyone gone on some Avengers shit (I’m talking about Infinity War, relax). Everyone is standing around where they are, in a state of both WHAT HAPPENED AND WHY DID THEY STOP and THANK WHATEVER GOD YOU WANT, I’M SO TIRED. Jorah dies in Dany’s arms, and again, I respect it. He died serving her. That’s what he wanted, and that’s what he did. And her dragon lies down beside them like, WHY DID YOU LEAVE ME ON THE GROUND, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU.
-The Night King? I think Raven Bran will tell us what his deal is next week, I think it’s going to be a lot tamer. And I had a whole thing ready to go on how it relates to another death, a character on The Wire, which y’all know I think is still the best show ever (and it is). I won’t say who it is, because I still think everyone should watch it. But those who have, his death is reminiscent of a character there, who lasted most of the season and was taken out in the most unexpected way possible. Which is why it was good, because for the most part, these fools had no idea what to do with the Night King. He was on his way to a 100-point game, then his ACL exploded.
-Finally, Davos and the Hound watch Melisandre wander out in the slow, she sheds her clothes, turns into her old self and dies before dawn, just like she said she would. Yup, MVP. And don’t get it twisted, Arya was dope, but Melisandre was the push. Also, flaming swords and trenches. Had she not lit the trenches, shit would have been over way sooner.
I still don’t think I’ve done this episode justice. I don’t remember if or when I’ve ever been so gripped by an episode of television. My guesses are that we will see Cersei and her people next week, and the fifth episode will be another battle as Miguel Sapochnik, who directed this and all the other battles except for “Blackwater”. It’s either gon’ be Winterfell, King’s Landing, or somewhere between. Cersei and the Golden Company, and Euron and whoever, against Dany, Jon, whatever is left of Winterfell, 12 Unsullied, one fucked-up dragon, we don’t even know if the other dragon is alive, and you know that Theon’s sister is going to come out of nowhere and help them. Or she’ll take on Euron’s fleet, so water battle? Whatever, man. I’m here for it. All of it.
And special shouts to Black Twitter, because it was a PARTY on there on Sunday night.
And you can complain about it being dark or you can’t hear or smell or whatever, but savor it, because it’s going to be gone and you’re going to be sad.