GOT Season Eight: Episode Three Recap and Reaction

Image Courtesy of HBO

Image Courtesy of HBO

Wow.

Wow.

Wowowowowowowowowowoowoowooowowwwwwww.

That...was spectacular.

I, like many others, was left speechless and in shock after this episode’s conclusion. The third episode in Game of Thrones’ eighth season took fans on a roller coaster of emotions—let’s break it down a bit.

Arya

In case y’all didn’t already know, Arya is the G.O.A.T. You can go ahead and put hand clapping emojis in that sentence if it needs emphasis. Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss knew that Arya was going to be the one to kill the Night King since 2016. Not only was her switch-hand-stab a baller move, but it means that the time she spent in Braavos wasn’t a complete waste and hopefully fans can look back on it and appreciate that she needed all the training she could get. If fans look back even further, this has been Arya’s destiny since season three. The last time Arya and Melisandre talked, the red woman told Arya “I see a darkness in you. And in that darkness, eyes staring back at me. Brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes. Eyes sealed shut forever. We will meet again." Again, in episode three, Melisandre's halftime pep talk to Arya inspired the little assassin, putting a bigger emphasis on the “blue eyes” part, and of course, telling death “not today”.

But what’s next for everyone’s new favorite character? A popular theory includes her being the one to kill Cersei, as she does have green eyes, but personally I don’t think this will happen. Allowing one character to kill two of the largest villains in the entire show seems unlikely, and it would make her a bit overpowered. In the books, Littlefinger has gray-green eyes so the remark could have been referring to him, or even Jaime. The show might also not even come back to this, as Melisandre did seem to heavily refer to the “blue eyes” part of her message. Either way, Arya is the best and I truly hope she survives the season and can sail west of Westeros to live out her days.

Dead and gone, and the end of the Night King...maybe

There were a total of seven named character deaths in this episode including Eddison Tolett, Beric Dondarrion, Lyanna Mormont, Theon Greyjoy, Jorah Mormont, Melisandre, and the Night King. And I gotta say, they were all executed pretty flawlessly. Many fans were expecting more deaths but they could only kill so many characters in such a short period of time effectively. Furthermore, this has never been a zombie show, but instead one about politics; to have a zombie hoard wipe out more characters would move the show away from its roots. Beric “served his purpose” in saving Arya to later kill the Night King, Lyanna had a fitting death—killing a giant in the process—and Theon, instead of running away from danger, ran directly at it while trying to protect Bran. This was not surprising but it brought his character arc full circle and fans have felt almost every possible emotion toward Theon from hate, to love, to empathy, to compassion and finally, sadness. Hopefully, Theon and his fans received closure from Bran’s confirmation that he is a “good man.”

There was Melisandre, who seemed to have a similar desire in “serving her purpose” before dying of old age (I guess?), being only the third character in Game of Thrones to do so. Then there’s Jorah, poor Jorah, forever fighting for an unachievable goal: the love of Danny. Nonetheless, the last Mormont scored major brownie points this season, requesting Danny forgive Tyrion, and protecting her when she was most vulnerable. Let’s pour one out for Jorah, as he will be forever missed.

Obviously, millions simultaneously cheered when Arya destroyed the Night King. But is that the end for the silent antagonist? Not only have we barely learned anything about the Night King, the White Walkers, their motives and backstory, but three episodes and four hours of screen time is a lot. Will the rest all be for dealing with Cersei? Furthermore, the actor who plays the Night King, Vladimir Furdik, has been tweeting some pretty intriguing content:

We haven’t seen the Night King fight with anyone at all really, so what was that for? Who knows. Maybe it’s nothing and the actor was trying to draw attention to himself and create buzz. Whatever the case, if the Night King himself doesn’t return, I expect some form of back story or evil still at play. Maybe Bran is secretly an evil being or the children of the forest will come back or we will get some more visions. I would be disappointed if the show moves on from the White Walkers entirely.

Underrated

Three moments in this episode I thought went either unnoticed or forgotten included the library scene, Sansa and Tyrion’s moment hiding from the wights, and the shot of the dragons in the sky.

When Arya was sneaking around in the library, trying to avoid the wights, not only was it a nice break from the battle action, but it left me at the edge of my seat and holding my breath. Deep down I even knew that she was going to escape since the trailer shot of her running had yet to happen. And still I was terrified something was going to happen. Furthermore, this scene was important as it established how sneaky Arya is around wights and can bob and weave without her presence being known. This gives reasons to how she was able to sneak up on the Night King without any of the wights or White Walkers realizing. And if you remember, back in episode one, she snuck up on Jon in the Godswood without him realizing so maybe she just knows that place really well. Watching the Game Revealed episode made me appreciate the scene more so and I highly recommend you to take a look.

One thing I learned this episode: I am not ready for the A-tier main characters to die yet. The scene with Sansa and Tyrion made me believe they were actually going to die. Whether they were going to sacrifice themselves or go out in a blaze of glory, I did not expect them to make it out of there. They did, but my emotions are absolutely not ready for that to actually happen.

And the shot of the dragons in the clouds was absolutely breathtaking. 10/10 quality poster/screensaver content there.

Also, the little girl who said she was going to defend the crypt did a real shit job.

What Now?

This was a momentum-building episode after the first two set the season up. Obviously, the characters in Winterfell will have to deal with Cersei now, but first, I assume, we must figure out who is going to lead. Jon has made it clear he doesn’t want to be on the Throne but now that the White Walker problem is dealt with, maybe his mind will be changed. This episode was a cinematic masterpiece and threw my emotions around like a rag doll. It seemed any character could die at any given moment with the Night King coming out victorious. While we didn’t lose as many named characters as I expected, I was kept on the edge of me seat which is a win in my books.

Honestly, my biggest worry moving forward is how, or if, they are going to top this episode. Nothing else seems to matter after defeating literal death. Holy shit moment three has yet to happen but something along the lines of Dany killing Jon to take the Iron Throne doesn’t seem as nearly as exciting to me now. Obviously, there are three episodes left and the best part about the show is its unpredictability. I just hope that something spectacular happens.

Steven Norwalk