With an impeccable level of intensity arrives what apparently was the most insurmountable war in the history of Westeros. Every breath held in a gasp of dread through the entirety was spared only the last few seconds as the unprecedented, nearly impossible was accomplished by an excruciatingly heroic warrior whose reply to death goes, "Not Today!"
All hopes of survival were crushed like Lyanna Mormont in the hands of the giant when our eyes were beginning to turn blue, the hopes rose to an incredibly higher pitch. Aided by the warm-up session of the last two episodes, the heat is all intact here. A few hearts are broken, a few fallen, hopes drained and eyes strained- this was a killer episode.
The Lord of Light
The Valyrian priestess returns to offer her final favor as the warriors and the castle stay prepped up for the war, staring through the dark and cold with fear and grit, facing death. Mellisandra has played a notable role in uniting ice and fire but has she erred? Was it a 'prince' who was promised?
She arrives and blesses the Dothraki weapons with fire. As it spreads through the troops, a magnificent and promising power unfolds. As the dead break through the wall, she lights the trenches beckoning her Lord- the flames reflected in her terrified eyes. The Lord of light indeed is an effective protector of the realms who brings back men from death to fight the dead. That is the stated purpose of those who return from death with the aid of the Lord. Ser Berick dies having met his and so does Mellisandra. What of Jon? Has he met his? It seems not! Why exactly did the Lord of light bring him back will be a question to look out for the coming week.
The Lord of Light's aid in making it through the Long Night challenges The Hound's atheism but let's not shed prudence here. The very thought draws us to a recall of the words guiding the winning factor of the night: "There is only one God and his name is Death. And there is only one thing we say to death - Not Today."
The Dead is already here
The Dothraki initiate the strike blessed with the flames. The dark engulfs them and I remain truly terrified for Ghost- he who stood the lead. Well, more worries mount up. The dead's attack on the troops, flooding over them with chaotic cruelty sent instant chills down and in no time, they begin to gain an advantage in the war. What a sense of spirits these folks have! Commendable union, effectively displayed in particular when they face the fire to extinguish it and let their troops forward to devastate Winterfell.
They stab our warriors, chase our loved ones to death, break Dany's heart and ours. They take down Drogon who comes later to embrace his mother, breaking down in tears faced with the most irreversible and ruinous of all losses that befell her.
The Long night elucidates philosophies on death stating the impossibility of victory over it while persistent power propelled with purpose proves the existence of exceptions. As the Night King rises his new formed army, we did see, smell and feel death in the closest vicinity. The Night King is primarily portrayed in a massive winning light that we couldn't question his rise nor hope for his fall. This effective build up and the rousing thrill of relief mark the best of the series and will undoubtedly remain one of the greatest war sequences in television. The promise was kept.
In the Crypts
Tyrion remarks on not being able to make a difference in the great war, recalling the Battle of Blackwater Bay while his shelter in the crypts adds a difference to the course of his life that will steer the forthcoming.
In the Winterfell Crypts, a warmth sparkles between Tyrion and Sansa that might probably save their marriage. Sansa reminds him of the reality of their capacities, "It is the truth. It is the most heroic thing we can do now. Look at the truth in the face" to which Tyrion has his witty and seemingly romantic reply, "Maybe we should have stayed married." As the dead invade, Sansa hands him Dragon glass as he prepares to fight, leaving his wife with a gentle kiss.
They survive and so will their marriage. The rapport between Sansa and the Dragon queen assumes greater significance here. Danerys is almost a loner now. She has lost her friend, lover, guardian, and advisor. It was Jorah who convinced Danerys against deposing Tyrion from being the Hand of Queen. Sans Jorah's influence, Danerys is bound to be reckless.
Let's see how the bonds reborn in the Crypts( Danerys- Jon; Sansa - Tyrion) progress.
Danerys' powerful command that ignites a fire in us and her child is "Dracarys!" There is magic, might, and fire in that name. The dragons are swirled into the winter winds as Jon and Daenerys try to devastate the dead.
They emerge high above the clouds, escaping the blinding winds and remain in a largely unfavorable stand in the war. The fight amid the blue-eyed Viserys and his fire breathing siblings intensifies the pace of the Long Night bringing no greater glory to the union of ice and fire.
The Targaryens fall but fight it all. Jon's sorrow-filled desperation to reach the Godswood to save Bran is exemplified by his sheer silence forming an affecting part of his fight and so is Dany's failed attempts to save Jorah.
As Daenerys attempts a victorious and fiery stand, commanding "Dracarys!", dense flames hit the Night King. As she is convinced of his defeat, blue eyes stare coldly into hers. The fire wouldn't affect him. This makes one more curious about the identity of the Night King! Is he a Targaryen dragon? He did ride Viserys too. Hope Bran would tell us soon.
We did prepare to accept the worst and the fall of the living as the Night King kills the determined Theon and nears Bran. He is stopped and the girl is here- Arya Stark. Remember the dagger made of Valyrian Steel Bran gives Arya - the one which was used to kill him! She stabs the Night King with the same. He shatters into shards of ice and the deadfall with him.
In the previous episode, the girl said, "I know death. He's got many faces. I look forward to seeing this one." She does look death in its blue eyes and in her stab lies the reply, "Not today!"
It was the least expected, but definitely, an overwhelming and thrilling one to witness her lead the dawn of the Long Night.
It was neither the Targaryen Wolf nor the Dragon Queen. It was Arya Stark- leave one wolf alive and the sheep are never safe. She wasn't in the list of promised names but her tremendous courage and grit ranging from the Kingsroad to the Godswood just awe us. It was assumed she was nearing her fall with the dead chasing her through the castle. Thanks to The Hound! She emerges as one of the most powerful characters in the series, widening our affiliation towards her.
Winterfell owes its survival to her now! The North Remembers!
Oh my! The war is over but not the heavily incredible effect of it. The aftermath of the greatest war will unravel in the coming week and so will begin the Game of Thrones. Let's head to Kings Landing shortly and catch up with Cersei. Hope we meet Bronn in the way.