The Battle of Winterfell: Analysis and Review

Ren Powers

Game of Thrones: The Long Night Review


It is finally over. The most hyped episode in television history has wrapped up and people have been left shaken. The episode has had mixed emotions for the hardcore Game of Thrones fans and for good reason.



The night is here and winter has come. The opening shot of Samwell Tarly´s shivering hands perfectly represents the emotions running through the fans and characters. You are taken through the courtyard and everybody is quiet with fear. The silence is cut by the Lady of Bear Island, Lyanna Mormont shouting orders at her soldiers. We get a few shots of Tyrion heading to the crypts and the soldiers take their place on the field or on the walls of Winterfell.


The army of the dead is there, but unseen in the darkness. With tension at itś highest, a figure rides out of the darkness. The Red Woman Melisandre had returned from Volantis to help the living in the Battle for the Dawn. Grabbing the Khalś sword and reciting her red magic every Dothraki bloodriderś sword sets ablaze. The main theme plays and there is hope for the living. The Dothraki ride into battle, but the dead meet them head-on. In a terrifying shot, one by one every flame goes and out and the Night King gains even more soldiers in his army.

The dead charge forward and clash into the unsullied. A bloodbath ensues and many die. The most notable death occurs when 998th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, Dolores Edd is speared in the back by a Wite. Being completely overrun, the living calls back a retreat and fall back into Winterfell. The trench is set ablaze and the dead are stuck outside Winterfell. Then we are brought to the Godswood in which Theon Greyjoy and the rest of the Ironborn are set on defending Bran Stark. Before the dead arrive, Theon apologizes to Bran for all he has done to him in the past and Bran informs him that everything he has done has brought him to where he is now and that is where he belongs. That is when Bran wargs into the ravens surrounding Winterfell and we are given a wide shot of Winterfell under siege. The birds fly past Winterfell and up into the icy storm. Through the mist, we see our first shot of the Night King on Viserion. He holds his hand out giving a command for the Wites to smother the fire surrounding Winterfell with their bodies.


The dead eventually smothers the fire and chaos ensues as they begin to push over the walls. The living put up a strong fight, but begin to get overrun and panic kicks in. When a giant busts down the main gate, Lyanna Mormont springs into action. In an attempt to kill the beast Lyanna grabs a dragonglass axe charges. She is no match for the giant however and she is picked up and her chest caved in by the monster. In her last breath, however, she stabs the giant in the eye with her dragonglass dagger. The giant is killed and the outspoken Lady of Bear Island dies to her injuries in the Winterfell courtyard like the warrior she is. Lyanna is not the only young woman bashing Wites. We get our first shot of Arya in combat since season five and she knows what she is doing. With the dragonglass spear that Gendry crafted her, kills begin to rack up. Like all the other soldiers in Winterfell, she begins to get overrun and is pushed into the Winterfell library where she is forced to hide. When she is discovered she is chased through Winterfell an eventually tackled by a great horde of Wites. Just when we think she is done for, Beric Dondarrion casts his flaming sword upon the Whites killing them all. Being pushed through the skinny corridors of the castle Beric spread his body throughout the hallway stopping the swarm of Wites from carrying on. This gives the Hound and Arya time to barricade themselves in the great hall and escape.


From there we are taken to the sky where Jon and Dany are finally finding their way out of the storm, but then the Night King attacks, blasting blue fire all over Dany and Drogon. A vicious three-way clash goes down between all three dragons and their riders and the Night King is knocked off his dragon. Jon lands and chases after the Night King once they meet we think we are finally going to get the showdown we have been waiting for. This is until the Night King raises his arms and brings back all the fallen soldiers to fight for him. Jon is swarmed and trapped by all the new Wites and the Night King makes his way to the godswood.


Upon arriving in the Godswood Theon is the only Ironborn still alive. With all hope looking lost Bran tells Theon he is a good man despite all he has done. Theon spots the Night King and charges at him with his spear. Like most saw coming the Night King makes short work of him and spears him through his side leaving him to die. Almost all the living are now fighting for the Night King and he is now staring Bran in the face. Right before he can grab his sword to deliver the final blow, Arya Stark flys out of the shadows, but is caught by the Night King. Before she can be killed she pulls off the same move she has been doing since sparing with Brienne and drops the knife into her opposite hand. She shoves the valyrian steel dagger through his stomach turning him to dust. With this, all the white walker and Wites fall to the ground. No one knows what is going on except the Arya and Bran and the camera pans to all the surviving characters reacting to the fall of the dead.


The Red Woman Melisandre looks at all the bodies on the floor and smiles. Knowing that she has now served her purpose to the Lord of Light she takes off her necklace and walks out the Winterfell gates. Without the powers of the necklace, her bones turn to brittle and in the final shot of the episode the sun rises and she falls to the snow.



This episode of Game Of Thrones has completely divided the community and many people have said it Is one of the worst episodes the series has ever produced. Although the episode definitely has its flaws, it was still an excellent episode.




A big problem a lot of people had with this episode was how dark it was. If watching the episode in the day time or on a low-quality screen, some scenes are just straight up unwatchable. This was at its worst for the scenes where the dragons were fighting in the sky. With the clouds and fire going everywhere these scenes just looked like flashes of colors on the screen and not a fight. For most of it, I don’t even know who to root for because I did not know who was who.


Another big issue many had with the episode was the lack of deaths. A very weird problem for fans to have with a show, but Game of Thrones is different. When people are put in a situation where they should die, they die. They put to many people in spots where they should have been killed and they were not. Quite frankly they did it with every character at least once. After the Night King raised the fallen soldiers Jon was completely surrounded by Wites, probably one hundred of them. Then the next time it cuts to Jon fighting through the battlefield, only a few are there to attack him. Where did all the others go? The same goes for Dany and Jorah out in the field and Jaime and Brienne in the courtyard. For a show that throws plot armor out the window, there was a lot of it in this episode.


The biggest issue that most people are complaining about is the death of the Night King and the rest of the White Walkers. The White Walkers have been the main threat of the show from the start. The first shot of the entire show is the ranging party getting slaughtered by a single White Walker. Even the words of house Stark ¨Ẅinter is Coming¨ has been used as a metaphor for their eventual arrival. So when Winter arrives and the whole threat is dealt with in one episode some fans were left with a bad taste in their mouth.


My Thoughts:


After my first watch of the episode, I was unclear on my feelings about the episode, but after watching it a few times I have come to my conclusion. I felt like the episode was very good. Not great, but very good. I have the same problems that were previously mentioned, but I like how this victory sets up the ladder half of the season. Game of Thrones has always been a show in which the political atmosphere of Westeros dominates the plot. This is what gained the show itś popularity and skyrocketed it to where it is today.

If the Night King were to remain alive and the rest of the season and the living gets pushed back to Moat Cailin or further then there would be no time left for Cersei. I personally like that they ended the Night King in this episode. This gave the fans a shocking moment that would usually be saved for later in the season right in the middle. This also sets up the second half of the season to be completely dedicated to what the story has always been about, the Iron Throne. Overall, I think this episode delivered on it´s promises to be a huge battle and I can’t wait to see how the rest of the season plays out. RATING: 8.5/10