After two more talk-filled, set up episodes, HBO delivered the goods Sunday night with Season Eight’s epic battle for Winterfell between the living and the Night King and his terrifying band of undead White Walkers and Wights.
(Spoiler alert! For those of you who haven’t watched yet and don’t want to know the details, don’t read further.)
The Dothraki army:
Things looked pretty encouraging when Melisandre lit their swords with fire en masse prior to the battle, but hopes (and flaming swords) were quickly snuffed out when they met up with the Wights.
The acting Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch gets stabbed in the back after saving clumsy, un-battle ready Samwell Tarly.
After an undead giant bashes The Lady of Bear Island out of his way, she charges him. As he grabs her and squeezes her to death he makes the fatal mistake of pulling her too close, allowing her to drive a dragonglass dagger into his eye, killing him.
After rallying The Hound to help save Arya Stark from being overrun by Wights, he sacrifices himself to save her. Says Melisandre (ever the pragmatist), “The Lord brought him back for a purpose. Now, that purpose has been served.”
The former Prince of Winterfell and former coward showed true courage protecting Bran Stark from the marauding Wights, but proved to be no match for the Night King.
The Night King:
Surprise! Just when it looked like he was about to take out Bran Stark, Arya comes to the rescue, stabbing him in the gut with the Valyrian dagger once intended for Bran. Oh, the delicious irony!
The Viserion, the White Walkers and the Wights:
Yup, when you kill the Night King, all his ghastly creations instantly die too. Bonus points for Arya.
Stabbed multiple times while defending his beloved Daenerys Targaryen, his and Lyanna’s demise means the House of Mormont is no more.
After playing a major role in the battle (lighting up the Dothraki swords, lighting up the barrier trenches around Winterfell and lighting up Arya’s mind with inspiration on how to kill the Night King), our mistress of fire, with the big battle over, made good on her prediction to be dead by dawn, tossing off her magical necklace and instantly aging out into a heap of dust.
With the White Walker war now done, the stage is set for the final war for the Iron Throne. Cersei, you in danger, girl.