A Stab In The Dark, That Resulted In Victory.
The calm before the storm is over, winter is at the door and our characters for the lack of a better word are in the shit. The season started off with a leisurely kind of pace just to give the audience a feeling of security when there was none. As usual, the writers found the most amazing way to subvert every expectation that I had about the episode.
The Whole Plan Goes To Hell In Winterfell…
So, when we left off, the idea was for Dany and Jon to wait while Bran is used as bait to lure in the Night-king. The rest of the army would hold back the army of the dead. This was a great plan, even Melisandre shows up and blesses the Dothraki weapons with fire. There was all this build up and suddenly, everything went to shit. The Dothraki were decimated in seconds, Dany being Dany gets emo and the whole plan goes to shit. The episode played out like a demonstration of Murphy’s law, literally, anything that could go wrong went wrong. Every moment that I would hope the tables would turn, it would just get worse. As I was watching the episode the situation kept getting worse and worse until the final hero moment that Arya gets. Due to there being so many characters in the same place, the writers could keep the final victorious moments as shocking and surprising as possible.
Miguel Sapochnik is back.
The showrunners made a brilliant but obvious choice of bringing one of their best directors Miguel Sapochnik for this episode. He had previously done two of the most iconic battle episodes in Game of Thrones history, Hardhome, and Battle of The Bastards. This episode felt like a perfect mix of these two episodes. It was taking place in Winterfell and the whites were involved. He has an amazing way of mixing absolute dread with inescapable claustrophobia. The tunnels of Winterfell turn into mazes of dread, the corridors turn into rivers of blood and the open fields turn into barren lands under clouds of death. He kept this sense of constant dread while never letting it turn into a dour boring mess.
The Moments That Mattered.
The most devastating yet satisfying moment was Lyanna dying but taking the white giant with her. Bella Ramsay who plays her was supposed to be a bit part, but due to the amazing talent that she is, the writers extended her stay. She gets an amazingly satisfying death that will rank amongst the best in the show. Jorah sacrificing himself for Dany was a cool send off to his character. Finally, the most important scene of the episode, most probably the show. The begins as dour as the rest of the episode, it builds to what you think might be a tragic crescendo where the bad guys win, even Theon dies. Then out of nowhere, just when the nigh king is just a few feet from Bran. Arya shows up out of nowhere, misses at first but manages to stab him in the heart with the dagger that Gendry made for her. The night king dies, the dead vanish away and the winter is evaded.
Now that war between the living and the dead is over, it has to be seen who sits on the iron throne.