Game of Thrones Episode 3 was packed full of suspense and different tones than the series as ever really displayed before. This dark chapter of the series ranks up there with the battle of the bastards. Those out there looking for mass character death may be disappointed. This is a heavy spoiler review so take that as a warning now before continuing on and watch the episode if you have not already.
One of the most well executed parts of this episode was the imagery. The episode starts out heavy with all the characters getting to their assigned locations and waiting for the first charge. The episode is dark but large swaths of Unsullied line the front of Winterfell with Dothraki and other groups in front.
We are met with the arrival of Melisandre who somehow avoids the white walkers and approaches out of the darkness. She prays to the lord of light and all the Dothraki weapons burst into flames. The then charge into the darkness. We do not see much for the amount of wights standing on the other end but we do see a big giant. The scene then cuts Winterfell watching as all the lights get snuffed out, only a few return. The scene is enough to send chills down anyone's spin.
The sound comes from the darkness of the army charging as the wights appear from the darkness and break like a wave against the lines of the Winterfell fortress. We loose Edd of the knights watch as he tries to get Sam up who is fighting nearby.
Danny after seeing many of her men dying flies down, against the plan and begins burning up the army of the dead with dragons fire. Jon makes his way to the line of white walkers but before he can do anything a major storm brought by the knight king hits making it impossible to get to them and disorienting Jon and Danny for a good portion of the remaining fight.
Bran worgs into birds and we don’t know what much else happens while he is doing this. The Ironborne surround him as planned.
The retreat order is called and everyone evacuates to the castle from the field. The Unsullied protect the retreat while this is happening leading to a soul crushing moment when Greyworm cuts the line of the bridge that was the only way most of his comrades could get in after the retreat could last no longer and he watches as his men get mauled down by the army of the dead. The trenches were suppose to be lit by dragon fire but with Danny and Jon lost, it doesn’t happen leaving Melisandre to do it. The wall lights at the very last second and the dead halt at the flames and wait.
While inside the castle everyone catches their breath. The knight king instructs his wights to fall onto the flames and make bridges over them and the charge continues. The wights break the walls of winterfell like the Zombies in World War Z. The fight has now entered Winterfell. We see Lady Mormont die but not before dispatching the giant that breaks the front door to winterfell down with a callback of looking into the eye of a blue eyed giant.
Arya gets her first wave of action dispatching of many wights pretty quickly before getting hit in the head and having to flee inside. Sandor Clegane is cowering around a corner before Baric tells him to fight more like Arya as she still is fighting and retreating into the castle.
We cut to the crypts where Sansa meets up with Tyrion. They drink and listen to the suffering happening upstairs.
Cut back to Arya and we get a stealthy library scene as she avoids as many wights as possible. This scene is a nice slow down to the almost draining pace of the battle. She evades the wights easily but then is met with more running down the hall. This is when Sandor and Baric find her and rescue her. Baric sacrifices himself to let Arya and Sandor go. They run into Melisandre who is acting like the person that is able to show up in the right spot for the right people all episode long. The feeling of plot convenience that she is always where she needs to be is a bit annoying. She recants what Syrio Forel told her in season 1. “What do we say to Death” and Arya runs off.
The battle rages on outside and it almost appears that the tides are beginning to turn in the livings favor. Jon gets into a dragon fight with the Night King and they both fall. It’s unclear in Jon’s dragon dies. But Jon goes after the Night King on the ground. But he turns and begins to raise the dead again. Jon seeing this sprints faster at him but it was too late and he must fight off being surrounded by risen dead from Winterfell.
In the crypts, some of the dead wake with the rise of the dead and begin slaughtering women and children who are trapped down there. Tyrion and Sansa share a cute little moment before charging out to defend the people down there with their dragon glass knives.
Above the crypts the dead rise and it looks like not much people are left aside from the main cast as they watch all their hard work fighting the dead completely 180 as they now need to start fighting their own recently fallen.
Danny Swoops in and saves Jon with dragon fire. Drogon evades ice spear that would have killed him but flies off covered in wights after Jon runs for the godswood. Jorah runs in and fights to protect Danny.
Jon runs past many of the characters that are in life and death situations before getting trapped by the undead dragon who is keeping him from getting to the godswood.
In the godswood the iron born run out flaming arrows and the wights surround Bran and Theon.
The white walkers strut in slow motion. Bran thanks Theon before he charges with his dragon glass spear at the knight king and dies.
Bran looks the Night King in the face just as Arya comes parkouring in and attempts to stab the Night King with her blade that used to be Little Fingers. The Night King Grabs her, but she does the move that she used to be Brienne and drops the blade to her other hand and stabs the Night King who bursts into ice.
All the dead fall down throughout Winterfell. All the other white walkers burst into ice dust. Danny lays crying over Jorah who died fighting the wights defending her before they all collapsed. Drogon lays over the both of them feeling sad as well. The episode finishes with Melisandre walking off into the field outside winterfell and removing her necklace and bursting to dust.
This was a long but good episode. There were areas of the show that diverted expectation and did it in a good way. The sound and the visuals were erie all the way through the episode and the payoff was well done.
It just leaves me to wonder what will happen next. In my opinion the biggest part of the entire series on HBO is now over and there are 3 episodes left. I would think that we have not seen the last of the white walkers. Cerci may be evil at this point but she is not white walker levels of payoff regardless of getting 7 seasons of character building. The story of the dead received the same amount of time. The amount of characters that survived surprised me as well. It appears that we may get a large amount of surviving characters after all.
If I am reviewing this as a standalone episode it was fantastic and stands up to the Battle of the bastards level. It was darker so the details were not as clear on the screen but it was well executed and simply epic. It was terrifying when it needed to be and suspenseful when it needed to be. All the characters portrayed fear really well in this episode. I will be watching it again and again. It pays off the war with the dead very well despite not being an end to the series.
I know there are a lot of details that were left out. I tried to cover as much as I could. With the length of the episode and the amount of things happening in it, it would take much more time to go over every little detail that I think fans will be doing for weeks and months to come.
What were your thoughts on the episode? Are there ideas in it that bothered you as a fan? Was there enough character death? What was the best part of the episode for you? Comment below, I would really love to know. Need to see the whole season? Check it out with our Affiliate link, it helps our site continue to bring reviews and other fantasy related articles to you! Until next week!