Game of Thrones is one of my favorite shows and holy shit, The Long Night (8.3) was the most legendary episode in the history of Game of Thrones, I’m still shook.
So much happens in this 80 minute episode, there’s heartbreak, loyalty, bravery, survival, chaos, anticipation and fear. Or as NY times has quoted, ‘Sunday’s final clash was a masterpiece of tension and release, goose bumps and heartbreak, grandiosity and intimacy.’ The Night King’s army has finally reached Winterfell and everyone is there to fight them. I think that’s what makes it more emotional for GoT fans, just the fact that all these characters- good and bad, that we’ve followed separately for seven seasons now, are back together (apart from Cersei), and that emotional reunion is shadowed by their probably deadly fates, but seeing them all fight unitedly and so bravely just melted my heart. All the actors and all those wonderfully played characters; Daenerys, Jon Snow, Sansa, Aria, Samwell, The Hound, Jamie, Tyrion, Grey Worm, Edd, Beric, Melisandre, Bran, Brienne, Podrick, Davos, Varys, Gendry ,Tormund, Missandei, The Dothraki, The Unsullied, Lady Lyanna, Jorah, Theon, the dragons and the ghost- they deserve all the rounds of applause they can get.
This episode also perfectly synced with the previous episodes, where they have built up the anticipation and shadowed their fates with reunions and talks and farewells, while this one was all the action. The ending for 8.2 where everyone we’ve respected and loved and hated just spend their last known days while Jenny of Oldstones (such a beautiful song by from Florence + the Machine) plays in the background was one of the most beautiful yet heartbreaking and calm scenes in this show, and majestically shot overall.
Miguel Sapochnik and David Nutter have done such a phenomenal job, the direction is just magnificent, and as an arts student who now knows just the mere basics of making a film, I just acclaim them and the whole team, because this must have been one hell of an episode to direct and film.
I’ve been seeing several pictures and videos from the first season on social media, and just seeing how far the characters have come (on the show and in real life too), and just how beautifully their character arcs have developed, for the supporting characters too, is mind blowing. We’ve gone from hating to loving characters, from seeing them fall to rise above those and become someone you would have never imagined them to be, and just admiring everyone- even when they are the villains, only Game of Thrones can make you feel that.
This episode could have so easily gone flat or monotonous, yet the shifting of chaos from the battlefield to the claustrophobic walls of the castle, from the dragons fighting in the sky to the traumatizing crypts, was bound to keep you on your freaking toes. There is fighting and chaos, yes, but the minimal emotional scenes of drama balance them up perfectly.
Somethings I also loved were the unforeseeable deaths and events, I would have never imagined what happened to happen by/ with the people that it did. Not to say the episode was perfect, the ice and smoke and darkness made it tough to decipher what was going on, especially the dragon duel but thinking about it now, adds more character to the mayhem and terror that this war was. I also read reviews from quiet a few people who are upset that the anticipation for the war ended in one episode itself, and while I do see that perspective, I personally feel that it was a nice balance between the war with the Night King and actual fight for the Iron Throne which is what the show has mainly been about. The war with the first men is something that could possible change everything about the fight for the Iron Throne in the larger context, which is why it will never be insignificant.
Regardless, the episode screwed with me mentally and emotionally, and the last ten minutes were spent with me falling off the sofa crying and then just sitting there for a long while after it was over, unable to form cohesive thoughts. I would love to know what your opinions are- did you love it , did you not?, and how you found the episode overall.