The final season of Game of Thrones reached the halfway point on Sunday night, with the epic Battle of Winterfell, the third episode in the six-episode eighth season.
HBO had previously revealed that this episode will clock in at 82 minutes, making it the longest episode of the season and the longest in the show’s history.
The network released a trailer for this third episode directly after last week’s A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, which ended with a big tease that an epic battle is afoot.
Battle of Winterfell: The network released a trailer for this third episode directly after last week’s A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, which ended with a big tease that an epic battle is afoot
The final moments of A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms ended with two of The Night King’s generals, amassing his white walker soldiers outside of Winterfell.
However, the Night King and his undead dragon Viserion was nowhere to be seen, and he wasn’t seen in the trailer for this third episode either.
There is a brief glimpse at one of Daenerys dragons screeching during this epic battle in the brief trailer, which only offered glimpses of the episode before the action takes place.
Battle: The official episode description reads, ‘The Night King and his army have arrived at Winterfell and the great battle begins’
The opening credits to the show revealed a surprise for fans, stating that Carice Van Houten returns as Melisandre, the red priestess who hasn’t been seen for quite some time.
The episode opens with Samwell Tarly, visibly nervous as he takes his weapons and gets ready for battle, while others are being lead into the crypts.
Tyrion Lannister is outside as well, defying Daenerys’ orders to stay in the crypt when the battle begins, taking a satchel for himself, watching as Theon (Alfie Allen) leans Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) out as ‘bait’ for the Night King.
Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham) is seen on the ramparts before the battle begins, when the screech of Daeneyrs’ dragons Drogon and Rhaegal are heard as they sweep overhead.
The Unsullied warriors are in formation, with catapults ready for the big attack, as everyone waits for the Night King to arrive, including Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) and Jaime Lannister) with The Hound (Rory McCann) even joining in the fight.
In last week’s episode, Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) asked when the last time he fought for himself was, and now he’s fighting for Winterfell.
Ready for battle: The trailer also showed a number of characters getting ready for battle, including Jon Snow (Kit Harington, Arya Stark (Maisie Williams), Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) and Samwell Tarly (John Bradley)
Someone on horseback approaches, and it’s none other than Melisandre (Carice Van Houten), approaching the battlefront, telling Jorah Mormont to tell the Dothraki warriors to lift their swords.
Melisandre inspects one of the Dothraki weapons, gripping the blade, saying something in Dothraki… when all of the Dothraki blades are set ablaze in an epic spectacle.
The last time Melisandre was seen, in Dragonstone, she said she would be going to Westeros one more time, and it seems her duty has been fulfilled, as she rides through the unsullied ranks as Davos asks for the gates to be opened for her.
Melisandre is met by Davos, saying, ‘There’s no need to execute me, Davos, I’ll be dead before the dawn,’ as she looks and sees Arya glancing at her from the ramparts, as screams can be heard.
The Dothraki warriors with their flaming weapons charge ahead on horseback, with Jorah Mormont in tow, as Jon and Dany watch from their elevated position, while flaming balls are fired from catapults.
All of these soldiers hit a wall, though, as a cease fire is called and the fire from their weapons are eventually, slowly, extinguished, until there is no light left.
The remaining warriors are tense, afraid, waiting for what’s next, when a horse comes running back towards them, along with several others on foot, with Jorah injured.
Up top, Dany tries to go and Jon says, ‘The Night King is coming, ‘and she responds, ‘The dead area already here,’ as their screams can be heard throughout the dark battlefield, as Grey Worm puts on his helmet.
The sounds get louder and louder as the white walkers attack, piling into the front wave of unsullied warriors, as the rest on the ground start to attack, including Brienne’s left flank.
Brienne is taken to the ground, with Jaime trying to save her, when Dany comes roaring in with one dragon, and Jon raiding the next, laying waste to the white walkers and lighting the dark battlefield up.
Jon spotsthe white walker leaders on hourseback standing near the forest, when a wintry wind hits them as they fly through.
Back at Winterfell, Arya asks Sansa to go back to the Crypt, handing her a dagger, when Sansa says she doesn’t know how to use it, she says to ‘stick them with the pointy end,’ words she was told by Sylvio Forel back in Season 1.
At the Weirwood Tree, a wintry wind sweeps over Bran and Theon Greyjoy, while Jorah Mormont, Brienne of Tarth and Tormund Giantsbane fight for their lives on the ground.
The HOund is also in the midst of the battle, as is Jaime Lannister, completely overwhelmed, when Samwell is saved by Dolorous Edd…. before he’s killed by a White Walker.
Down in the crypt, Sansa heads to safety, with the women and children and non-fighters like Varys and Missandei and Tyrion, who drinks from a flask.
Outside, Jon and Dany are still flying blind, so to speak, through this winter storm, as they try to get their bearings.
On the ground, Tormund and Brienne instruct the survivors to fall back to the gates as they all rush inside, pushed back by this undead army.
Jon Snow yells out for Dany, but he can’t find her, and on the ground, Bran waits for the inevitable, as a dragon swoops down, carrying Jon.
More rush in through the gates, bloodied and battered, as they all rush in, while unsullied warriors try to hold back the undead with their spears… but they look simply outnumbered.
Arya tries picking off undead with her bow and arrow as the unsullied call for a retreat, as they try to full back tino the gates while the white walkers fight their way through the unsullied.
Grey Worm calls for the trench to be lit, with Davos waving the torches but Jon and Dany can’t see it because of the winter storm the Night King created.
They try to light it with flaming arrows, but it just isn’t working, with several who have tried being tackled by white walkers. Grey Worm seems Melisandre just standing there.
A small convoy of unsullied comes from the gates to protect Melisandre as she says a prayer to the Lord of Light to light the trenches… but the white walkers are getting closer and closer.
She starts to get worried, saying the prayer with desperation, and right when the white walker gets to her, the trench is lit, forming a fiery barrier between the dead and the Winterfell castle.
In the crypt, Varys sighs and mentions that at least they’re in a crypt, while Tyrion complains that he should be out there, but Sansa says he would be dead.
Sansa says they’re all down there because they can’t do anything, saying the most heroic thing they can do is face the truth.
Sansa jokes that they should have stayed married, saying he was the best of all of them, but Sansa says it wouldn’t work, that the dragon queen has divided loyalties.
Missandei, angry, overhears, saying without the dragon queen, they’d all be dead already before storming off.
At the Weirwood Tree, Theon tells Bran that they lit the trench, and that he just wants him to know that the things he did, trying to apologize, but Bran cuts him off.
Bran says that the things he did brought him to where he belongs now, home, before saying he’s going to go now, as his eyes turn milky white and ravens are sent off into the battle.
The three ravens find The Night King riding his dragon, who reaches out his hand, as the white walkers start walking into the fire, one by one.
They eventually start a path for the rest to get through, as Davos yells for everyone to man the walls, as they race to the ramparts, finding these white walkers climbing the walls.
Podrick starts slaying them with the dragon glass weapons, as does Samwell, Jaime and many others, but they keep getting through.
White walkers are climbing on top of each other to get into the castle, as Brienne and Jaime fight their way through, along with Samwell Tarly.
The White Walkers have infiltrated Winterfell fully, as The Hound waits, terrified, while Arya fights back with her unique custom weapon that Gendry made for her.
Dondarrion calls out to The HOund but he doesn’t respond, while Arya keeps killing white walkers as Davos looks on, impressed.
Lyanna Mormont is batted aside by a white walker giant, while Araya seems trapped as the giant clears the way.
Dondarrion tries to get The Hound to help, but he says it’s useless they can’t beat death, but he shows her Arya still fighting for her life and he rushes after her.
Lyanna Mormont rushes after the giant white walker and he crushes the life out of her, but she stabs him in the eye, killing him.
The official episode description reads, ‘The Night King and his army have arrived at Winterfell and the great battle begins.’
The trailer begins with Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) stating, ‘The most heroic thing we can do now is look the truth in the face,’ while Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) and his unsullied warriors got ready for battle.
The trailer also showed a number of characters getting ready for battle, including Jon Snow (Kit Harington, Arya Stark (Maisie Williams), Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) and Samwell Tarly (John Bradley).
A number of characters were also see waiting in the relative safety of the crypt, including non-fighters like Lord Varys (Conleth Hill) and Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage).
Jon Snow is heard saying ‘The Night King is coming,’ while looking wide-eyed in the distance, while the trailer also showed Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) draw back a flaming arrow in his bow.
The trailer ends with a rather angry Daenerys telling Jon that, ‘The dead are already here,’ while Brienne of Tarth, who was revealed in last week’s episode to be commanding the left flank, screaming, ‘Stand your ground!’
Jon and Theon: Jon Snow is heard saying ‘The Night King is coming,’ while looking wide-eyed in the distance, while the trailer also showed Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) draw back a flaming arrow in his bow
Angry: The trailer ends with a rather angry Daenerys telling Jon that, ‘The dead are already here’
Stand your ground: Brienne of Tarth, who was revealed in last week’s episode to be leading the left flank, screaming, ‘Stand your ground!’
Last week’s episode, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, featured a pivotal moment in the series, where Jon Snow told Daenerys Targaryen his true heritage, that he is the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, and is the true heir to the Iron Throne.
This new information does not sit well with Daenerys, since Jon Snow is now the rightful heir to the Iron Throne and not her, and the trailer hinted that their alliance is beginning to crumble.
There are just three episodes in the final season, all of which are over an hour in length, with the fourth episode clocking in at 78 minutes and the final two episodes clocking in at 80 minutes.
Battle: Last week’s episode, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, featured a pivotal moment in the series, where Jon Snow told Daenerys Targaryen his true heritage, that he is the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, and is the true heir to the Iron Throne
Crumbling alliance: This new information does not sit well with Daenerys, since Jon Snow is now the rightful heir to the Iron Throne and not her, and the trailer hinted that their alliance is beginning to crumble
Final episodes: There are just three episodes in the final season, all of which are over an hour in length, with the fourth episode clocking in at 78 minutes and the final two episodes clocking in at 80 minutes