Wiki of Westeros

HOTD206.jpg House of the Dragon: Season 2, Ep. 6: "Smallfolk" is now streaming on Max.

READ MORE

Wiki of Westeros
Advertisement
Wiki of Westeros
This page is about the episode of Game of Thrones. For other uses, see: The Long Night (disambiguation)

"The Long Night"[3] is the third episode of the eighth season of Game of Thrones. It is the seventieth episode of the series overall. It premiered on April 28, 2019 on HBO. It was written by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, and directed by Miguel Sapochnik.

Premise[]

Arya looks to prove her worth as a fighter.[5]

Synopsis[]

The cavalry charge[]

Night has fallen at Winterfell. Samwell Tarly is fearful and his nervous hands are filled with a pair of dragonglass daggers by an unseen benefactor; Tyrion Lannister takes several wine casks from the provisions to take with him to the crypts below, where the non-combatants are hiding. Bran Stark is wheeled to the Godswood to wait as bait, accompanied by Theon Greyjoy and his detachment of Ironborn, as well as Alys Karstark. Sansa and Arya Stark oversee one section of the castle wall while Davos commands another. Lyanna Mormont commands defense of the main courtyard. Outside the gates, Brienne of Tarth commands the left flank, accompanied by Jaime Lannister. They are joined by Podrick Payne, Sandor Clegane, Gendry, Eddison Tollett, and Samwell Tarly. Grey Worm leads the formations of Unsullied, while Jorah Mormont and Qhono ride along with the Dothraki cavalry - accompanied by the direwolf Ghost. Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow ride their two dragons away from the castle, so as not to alert the enemy to their presence.

The moonless darkness is impenetrable and eerily silent -- until a lone rider appears: Melisandre, the red priestess. She rides up to Jorah and asks him to command the Dothraki in their language to raise their arakhs. When they do, she starts praying to the Lord of Light in High Valyrian. The army's arakhs suddenly burst into flame, sweeping from one side of the field to the other. Melisandre withdraws within Winterfell; Davos is about to kill her for Shireen, but she tells him not to bother, as she expects to be dead before dawn anyway. Before she departs she stares intently for a few moments at Arya.

Emboldened, the Dothraki cavalry charge ahead into the night, their fiery arakhs visible in the distance - until they crash into the seething undead horde of wights. The infantry around Winterfell can hear their shouts and watch, in the shadowy distance, as Dothraki war cries turn to screams of terror and the flames from their swords are quickly extinguished. A stray horse or rider manages to flee back toward the castle, one of them a haggard-looking Jorah. The Army of the Dead advances in earnest.

The battle[]

The Unsullied form phalanxes, while catapults start shooting flaming barrels into the night. By the light of the fires, the true size of the undead horde can be seen. They rush down from the north and slam into the defenders around Winterfell. They are quickly overrun by the wights, who swarm over and on top of each other and infantry formations like a tidal wave. A savage melee sees most of them surrounded: they are killing wights with their dragonglass weapons, but not nearly enough, as the living dead drag down and overwhelm the defenders through sheer numbers.

Viewing the battle from the west, Daenerys is upset at the slaughter of her Dothraki and wants to strafe the wights. Jon tries to stop her because the plan is to locate the Night King, riding Viserion, who is being lured by Bran into the godswood, at which point Jon and Daenerys can attack the Night King -- but the Night King won't appear if they reveal their two remaining dragons. Daenerys shakes off Jon's arm and tells him, "The dead are already here," and she takes off on Drogon. Jon follows Daenerys on Rhaegal.

The two dragon-riders make strafing runs on the undead army, just behind the faltering human forces. Thousands of wights are incinerated: for a short time this stems their tide, but more keep coming. The White Walkers themselves do not engage, instead staying in a mounted line far behind the front, content to throw wave after wave of undead pawns at the castle. Jon Snow sees the White Walkers and tries to make a bombing run at them: they might not be the Night King, but any of the hundreds of undead wights each of them has raised will instantly die again if he can kill them. Before Jon can even reach their line, however, a massive cold blast of air forces him back: the White Walkers have magically summoned a huge snowstorm. Both dragons can barely stay in the air, and nearly fly into each other during the whiteout.

As Jon and Daenerys struggle to find one another in the storm, Jon calls Daenerys's name and they eventually reunite above the storm clouds. As they try to get their bearings, the Night King appears riding Viserion and pursues Daenerys and Drogon. Jon tries to follow them but is knocked out of the way while Daenerys manages to evade the attack. When Daenerys and Jon find each other again above the clouds, the Night King is gone. The Night King makes his way to Winterfell.

Grey Worm S8 Ep3

Grey Worm battles wights.

The remaining infantry is badly affected. The only infantry still holding up reasonably well by this point are the lockstep legions of the Unsullied, horrifically trained to strip away all fear and robotically follow their battle formations. They hold in their phalanxes, but even these are slowly but steadily being consumed by the scrambling mass of wights. A full retreat into the castle is ordered, and Grey Worm commands the Unsullied to form up a rearguard to protect the withdrawal of their few remaining forces. Samwell Tarly is nearly killed in the retreat, but Dolorous Edd saves him - only to be stabbed from behind and killed. The wights gradually force their way forward in slaughter, even as Unsullied reinforcements step forward to take the place of each that falls.

The Unsullied are on the verge of being overwhelmed, when the last of the main host gets back through the gates. Desperately, Grey Worm orders that the entrenchments around the castle - which have been filled with flammable pitch - be set on fire. Grey Worm himself is with the last remaining rearguard, who cannot abandon the earthworks if they are not set aflame. Attempts by Arya and the other archers to shoot the pitch with flaming arrows are blown away by severe winds while the snowstorm prevents the dragonriders from seeing their signal to light it. Melisandre appears, laying her hands on the trenchworks and repeats her prayers to the Lord of Light, straining with the massive effort. At the last moment, the entire trench ringing Winterfell bursts into flames. Grey Worm and his few remaining men withdraw behind the castle gates, which close. The Wights then proceed to robotically halt, sensing the danger.

The siege[]

Crypt S8 Ep3

Tyrion and Sansa discuss their marriage.

Seeing the fight approaching, Arya tells Sansa to flee to the crypts, as she'll only get killed if she remains but Sansa protests she can't abandon her people. Arya gives her sister a dragonglass dagger to defend herself with and when Sansa says she doesn't know how to use it, Arya advises her to "stick them with the pointy end". In the crypts, Sansa meets other women, including Missandei, and children, as well as the infirm and non-combatants (Tyrion and Varys). Tyrion laments that he should at least be up on the battlements, even if he can't fight well: just like at the Battle of the Blackwater, he and Varys could still use their great intellects as commanders, to try to see something other people wouldn't. Sansa chides that witty remarks won't make a difference, and the bravest thing they can do now is "look the truth in the face". Tyrion is moved and quips that maybe they should have stayed married - to which Sansa responds, "You were the best of them." Tyrion remarks that is a terrifying thought. Sansa continues a marriage wouldn't work out between them because of his loyalty to Daenerys and Tyrion being divided between herself and Daenerys would be a problem. Missandei defends her queen, saying that without the Dragon Queen, they'd all be dead by now.

In the godswood, Theon Greyjoy can also hear the approach of the undead army. He starts to apologize to Bran, but Bran politely cuts Theon off, saying that everything he did led him to where he is now: "Home". Theon is moved, but Bran must "leave" now - warging into flocks of ravens around Winterfell. Through the ravens' eyes, he comes across the Night King on Viserion just as he is ordering his army to press their attack.

The Night King psychically has his Wights smother the trench across multiple spots. Many wights burn, but the flames are still quickly extinguished, breaching the outer defenses. Thousands of them start swarming around the base of Winterfell's great stone walls, then climb over each other in a mass, using their strength to grip into crevices in the stone.

Viserion vs rhaegal

Dragons dance above Winterfell.

The Night King makes another run towards the godswood, but Jon and Daenerys predict where he was headed. Jon spots the Night King and pursues him. When the Night King approaches the castle walls directly and is just about to strafe Winterfell, Jon attacks him from atop Rhaegal. Rhaegal clashes with his undead brother and a battle between the two factions ensues in the skies above Winterfell.

Despite having lost so many men out in the field, the castle's walls are a major force multiplier for the defenders, and they kill many more hundreds of wights as they reach the tops of the battlements. Even so, more keep coming, as the snowstorm reduces the castle to a whiteout amidst the flames. Jaime Lannister is nearly overwhelmed by a dozen wights, but Brienne carves her way to him using her Valyrian steel sword and saves him. Jorah Mormont, similarly, manages to save Samwell Tarly using Heartsbane - the ancestral Valyrian steel sword of House Tarly that Samwell lent him for the battle. Arya manages to pick off many wights with flaming arrows. Sandor Clegane, with his severe fear of fire, is left frozen as Beric Dondarrion urges him to keep fighting. Sandor pleads that they can't beat death itself, to which Beric points to Arya and says, "Tell her that."

The tide of battle turns against the defenders again, and as Lyanna Mormont tries to organize the defense of the main courtyard, a large wight-giant bashes its way through the main gate of Winterfell. More wights flow in behind it, leading the advance, knocking Lyanna to the side and taking out any of her soldiers still standing. Recovering, young Lyanna grabs a dragonglass blade and charges the undead giant while letting out a battle cry. The wight-giant casually snatches her up in his hand, however, and holds her up to his one remaining blue eye. The wight-giant clenches his fist, crushing Lyanna's chest in as her bones snap. Yet her hand is still free, and with one last defiant cry, she stabs the dragonglass into the wight-giant's eye: it instantly dies and topples to the ground. Lyanna falls free of his grasp, but dies from her injuries.

Winterfell overrun[]

The entire courtyard is overrun, and all remaining order to the siege collapses, as the wights spread to surround any remaining pockets of resistance here and there around the castle. Arya, who was knocked out against a stone wall, recovers some time later, stumbling into the Winterfell library. The fighting has moved away from this part of the castle, as wights shamble about looking for survivors to pick off. Using her stealth training from the Faceless Men,

Arya Corpse S8 EP3

Beric saves Arya from a wight.

Arya slowly sneaks past all of them - only for the wights to burst through the door after her as soon as she leaves. She runs into Sandor and Beric, however, also fleeing wights, and help fight them off. The trio make a running retreat through the narrow hallways of the castle's interior. Eventually, Beric is stabbed multiple times and barely manages to drag himself after them into the great hall, whose heavy doors hold after they shut them. Once inside, Beric succumbs to his injuries, but in the hall, Arya and Sandor also find Melisandre, waiting; she remarks that in saving Arya, Beric has fulfilled the purpose the Lord of Light had for him. Arya recalls that they met before, and Melisandre said they would meet again. Melisandre reminds Arya that she said Arya would close many eyes forever, including "blue" ones (of the White Walkers), and asks Arya what they say to the god of Death. Arya responds, "Not today." She departs, newly determined in her goal.

Dragon battle[]

Meanwhile, the dragons are locked in battle in the sky above Winterfell with Jon and the Night King fighting in fierce close quarters mid-air brawl on their dragons. Viserion badly claws Rhaegal's belly, while the Night King readies another one of his dragon-killing crystal spears - but the dragons are swirling around so chaotically he can't get a clear shot from his mount. Despite his wounds, Rhaegal manages to land a bite on the other dragon, and tears the left half of his face off - but this is not enough to stop him. It is, however, enough to significantly distract the Night King, who doesn't notice Daenerys's approach on Drogon: they collide with Viserion with such impact that the Night King is spilled from his mount, while Drogon tears into Viserion. Rhaegal, however, is badly wounded enough that he needs to make a forced landing, dropping Jon on the ground again before fleeing.

Drogon sends the badly injured Viserion crashing into the castle while Jon regains himself on the ground, finding he is on the abandoned outer battlefield -- and not far from the Night King, who is proceeding on foot to the breach in the walls leading to the godswood and Bran.

Daenerys reaches the Night King, and with a command of "Dracarys!" has Drogon blast him with dragonfire. When the smoke dissipates, however, Bran's warning is proven unfortunately correct: even dragonfire cannot kill the Night King, who is completely undamaged. He still has one ice javelin left and as he readies to throw it at Drogon, Daenerys flees and manages to narrowly dodge the shot.

Reinforcements[]

Night King S8 Ep3

The Night King raises the dead.

Jon pursues the Night King but just as he is about to reach him, the Night King silently turns to him and raises his arms, resurrecting all of Winterfell's defenders who died in the battle up to this point (including Dolorous Edd, Lyanna Mormont, and Qhono) into wights. Jon finds himself surrounded again and struggles to fight off the new wights, as the Night King continues into the godswood.

In the crypts, Sansa and the others can hear a handful of living men desperately pounding on the heavy doors to let them in, but they know they cannot risk a flood of wights passing the barricade. They hear the men's cries which are quickly silenced. The wights themselves cannot find a way in - but there are already plenty of dead bodies in the crypts for the White Walkers to reanimate. Suddenly, many of the interred corpses rise as wights and start clawing their way out of their tombs. They're fairly old and not in the best shape, but the women and children are totally unarmed, and many succumb to the wights. Sansa and Tyrion hide behind one tomb, contemplating on helping the women and children in the fight against the newly made wights in the crypt, with the dragon glass that they were given.

As Jon fights off the surrounding wights, Daenerys appears with Drogon and burns them up from the air. Jon calls to Daenerys, planning to pursue the Night King, and Daenerys tells Jon to go. After Jon follows the Night King, Daenerys and Drogon land but stay on the ground for moments too long, finding Drogon being swarmed by dozens of wights. He just barely manages to fly away still covered in them, but Daenerys is knocked off his back in the process. However, Jorah appears and helps Daenerys fight off the wights. Daenerys picks up a dragonglass dagger from the ground as well, but they are both exhausted and more wights surround them again.

Jon, meanwhile, fights his way back into the courtyard of the castle on foot - only to be pinned down by the grounded, but still very dangerous Viserion. A stab from Jon's Valyrian steel sword might kill the undead-dragon, but it is simply too volatile to approach: badly wounded beyond the point a living dragon would have expired, the huge rents in his body leak great bursts of fire, as it continues to crash around through the rubble. Jon is hastily forced to dive for cover, as Viserion catches sight of him and lets loose a torrent of fire, incinerating the courtyard which barely misses Jon. Facing certain death and with the battle seemingly lost, Jon emerges from his hiding place and, resolving to die with what courage he can muster, bellows defiance at Viserion as the undead dragon's jaws gape open, either to devour Jon or blast him with flame.

Final confrontation[]

Wights advance through Winterfell's godswood, and are picked off by Theon's archers. One by one each of the defenders is killed, including Alys Karstark, until only Theon is left, taking out a dozen more wights until he runs out of arrows. Suddenly the wights stop, forming a ring around the Weirwood tree - then step aside to make a path for the Night King himself, followed by all of the other White Walkers and a horde of wights, some of them temporarily halted by the Night King. Bran Stark turns to Theon and says "You are a good man. Thank you." Finding redemption for his past crimes against Bran and Winterfell and no longer afraid of dying, Theon grabs a spear and courageously charges forward at the Night King. It is not enough, as the Night King easily blocks the blow, snaps the spear in half, and uses one piece to impale Theon, who slowly dies on the ground.

With no one left to defend Bran, the Night King walks slowly towards him at the base of the tree. Bran looks up at his foe with pity, the Night King staring down at his age old nemesis the Three Eyed Raven in triumph.

GoT S08E03 AKNK

Arya kills the Night King.

As the Night King draws the sword sheathed on his back for the killing blow, a sudden wisp of wind catches the attention of one of his lieutenants and Arya leaps at him from behind, her Valyrian steel dagger drawn. The Night King instantly reacts, spinning around to catch her by the throat in one hand, and her left wrist in the other. He only has a moment to leer at her before she drops the dagger out of her left hand and catches it with her still free right hand - and drives the blade into his chest - shattering him into icy shards.

With the Night King destroyed, the other White Walkers shatter as well, and in turn, every wight falls. All around Winterfell, the few surviving and surrounded defenders see the wights suddenly drop and fall apart, the magic animating their dead flesh and sinews departing.

The undead Viserion dies for the final time in the courtyard, saving Jon Snow. The wights attacking Jorah and Daenerys drop dead, but Jorah is fatally wounded defending Daenerys. He dies in the arms of the woman he loves as Daenerys cries while holding him. Drogon, who survived the wights, curls himself around them to comfort her as she mourns. The wights fall in the crypts as well, saving Tyrion, Sansa, and the others. The ancient threat of the White Walkers has been destroyed forever.

Red Woman Corpses S8 EP3

Melisandre welcomes death.

Dawn finally breaks over the devastated castle. Melisandre walks out of the gates removing her cloak, and Davos follows, ready to kill her with his dagger. Melisandre, however, removes her magical choker and drops it on the ground, the glow from its gem fading out - and Davos is astonished to see from a distance that she is now a centuries-old woman (her glamored image of youth removed). Having used up all of her magical power summoning the fires to defend the castle, she takes a few more faltering steps, then collapses, and her body crumbles away into dust.

Appearances[]

Main page: The Long Night/Appearances

Firsts[]

Deaths[]

Cast[]

Starring[]

Guest starring[]

Uncredited[]

Notes[]

Quotes[]

Sansa Stark: "The most heroic thing we can do now is look the truth in the face."


Jon Snow: "The Night King is coming."

Daenerys Targaryen: "The dead are already here."


Brienne of Tarth: "Stand your ground!"

Behind the scenes[]

General[]

  • The episode title refers to the Long Night, a winter that descended upon the world 8,000 years before Aegon's Conquest, and lasted an entire generation. It may also refer to refers to the long Battle of Winterfell, which lasted a night long.
  • The soundtrack playing over the credits is a rendition of the Night King's theme. On the official soundtrack release it is titled "Not Today."
  • The opening credits have once again been slightly updated from the prior episode, now with the ice representing the undead army of the White Walkers stretching down from the breach through the Wall past Last Hearth to Winterfell itself.
  • With a run time of 82 minutes, this episode is the longest of the television series overall.
    • Despite its long runtime, this episode has minimal dialogue in it. It may be the least proportionate dialogue per minute, on average, in the entire TV series.
  • This episode had the highest ratings in the history of the TV series, and HBO as a whole, with 17.8 million overnight viewers - up from 17.4 million for the Season 8 premiere.[6]
    • This episode also broke a Twitter record, as according to that site's internal analytics it was the most Tweeted-about scripted television episode of all time.[7]
  • This episode entirely takes place at Winterfell.
  • The status of House Mormont after the battle is unclear: Lyanna and Jorah Mormont die, but in the books there are younger branch members of each family: Lyanna has three other sisters in the books by this point, but none were introduced in the TV show. Similarly, Ned Umber died in the season premiere, but there were younger branches of House Umber in the books. Given that the invasion of the White Walkers has been defeated, someone will have to rule over Bear Island and Last Hearth.
  • As for House Karstark: it is actually uncertain if Alys Karstark is alive or dead. She was never shown dead in the aired episode - the Game of Thrones Viewer's Guide update after this episode did not list her as "deceased," even though it was updated for other characters who clearly died on-screen. Attempting to access her specific profile page resulted in the website freezing (as of April 29th). After the episode aired actress Megan Parkinson posted on her Instagram a vague message implying that she had more scenes which were cut for time - it's been revealed a death scene had in fact been filmed for her. A scouting group of Karstark soldiers led by Alys proceed further into the Godswood, and are ambushed by wights.
  • The Brotherhood Without Banners apparently ceased to exist with the death of Beric Dondarrion. When they returned in Season 6, they had fewer members, but they were still traveling as a large group by the beginning of Season 7. By the time they reappeared at Eastwatch, however, Beric and Thoros were the only ones still present, the others having simply disappeared.
  • None of the White Walkers, even the Night King, have ever had a single speaking line in the entire TV series, through their destruction in this episode. They've had a few screeches that sound like cracking ice (Skroth), but in terms of "dialogue" leading to characterization, they never said anything. Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss said that they did this on purpose, feeling that the Night King is "Death" incarnate, and Death shouldn't talk (it would only diminish him).
  • The novels have hinted that the unusually long seasons Westeros experiences - often 2 to 3 years, sometimes 10 years long - are somehow tied to the White Walkers. George R.R. Martin himself has said that there is a "magical" reason behind the long seasons, which will be explained before the books end.
  • The novels have made mention that during the Long Night 8,000 years ago, the White Walkers rode on giant ice spiders as big as hounds. They were mentioned twice in the show, but never appeared.
    • In a post-episode interview with Entertainment Weekly, showrunner D.B. Weiss was asked about the lack of ice-spiders, to which he responded: "Big as hounds..." [sighs] "...Didn't we talk about that for 30 seconds? 'Ice spiders' sounds good. It would look good on a metal album cover. But once they start moving, what does an ice spider look like? Probably doesn't look great."
  • Dragons are said to be very intelligent creatures in the books, perhaps a different kind of intelligence more attuned with "nature" or "magic," alien from our own, but they are not just mindless animals. In this episode, Drogon is seen to be mourning Jorah and comforting Daenerys in her grief by curling around her. There is a precedent for this in the novels, that dragons do know what death is and mourn their dead (like real life elephants).
  • Chris Stapleton BTS

    Jason Hecht, J.T. Cure and Chris Stapleton .

    Country singer Chris Stapleton has a cameo appearance as a wildling who is reanimated as a wight, with his bassist J.T. Cure and his tour manager Jason Hecht also appearing a soldiers who are reanimated as wights.[8] Stapleton is a fan of the show and reached out to the showrunners and expressed his wishes to appear on the show however small the part was, as well as his willingness to fly wherever he was needed in order to film the cameo.[9]
  • Some reviewers have accused that there is a continuity error when Lyanna Mormont stabs the wight-giant, as she started her charge holding an axe, but stabs it in the eye with a dagger. Actually, Lyanna drops her axe when the giant grabs her, but then pulls a dagger from her belt. In earlier shots when the giant first appears, the dagger is already visible tucked into her belt - thus there was no error.
  • Actor Iain Glen (Jorah Mormont) nearly faced a personal tragedy while filming this episode. While he was on location getting ready to film his big final fight scene, his wife suffered a brain hemorrhage (while she was in a live rehearsal for a play that night). She later made a full recovery, but at the time Glen was totally overwhelmed, as he said: "The nature of it, after it was all said and done, means it's never going to happen again, and she's fully recovered, but I was completely on the floor at the time, a total mess." Emilia Clarke, his partner for these scenes, was very moved and empathetic - given that, as she revealed right before the Season 8 premiere, she herself actually suffered a near-fatal brain aneurysm during Season 2. Clarke, director Sapochnik, and producer Bernadette Caulfield all told him to immediately go and get on a flight to see his wife. Glen came back two weeks later to film his final fight sequence - thus Glen really was deeply rattled from a near-death situation when he filmed the scene of Jorah being overwhelmed.[10]
  • Actor Richard Dormer explained in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that Beric Dondarrion actually had quick dying words, but they were deleted from the final cut of the episode. As he filmed it, after Beric staggers into the great hall, he chokes out the simple command "Live!" to Arya, and then dies. Some review sites have pointed out that Beric had a crucifixion-like pose in the hallway when the wights were stabbing him, as if to reference his sacrifice and how he has been resurrected before. As Dormer explained it, the idea was that Beric was barricading the narrow hallway with his body, to block off the seething horde of wights from advancing. He jokingly referred to it as his "Beric-ade" moment. THR pointed out that this was similar to how Hodor died, which Dormer thought was interesting, and he did note that Beric's sacrifice was "Christ-like".[11]
  • According to the Game Revealed behind the scenes video, the entire sequence of Tyrion and Sansa in the crypts was supposed to be much longer, but most of it ended up as deleted scenes. In the behind the scenes video, they are shown sneaking around tombs to attack wights from behind using their dragonglass daggers. Sophie Turner emphasizes this, describing the crypts as her "first action scene." In the final cut, the camera cuts away when the wights start overwhelming everyone, and returns to the crypts when the Night King's death makes all the wights die.[12]
  • In the third book, Jeor Mormont tells Sam as he is about to die, "Tell my son. Jorah. Tell him, take the black. My wish. Dying wish. Tell Jorah. Forgive him. My son." This was omitted from the show; yet, although Jorah was never told his father's last wish and did not formally join the Watch - he fiercely fought alongside the Watch against the army of the dead (which is the reason the Watch has been founded for in the first place); by that, in a sense, Jorah fulfilled his father's last wish.

Callbacks[]

This episode includes several callbacks to prior episodes and events:

  • In the second episode of Season 1, "The Kingsroad", Catelyn Stark showed the Valyrian steel dagger to her main household members, meeting in the relative privacy of the godswood, at the heart tree in the middle. On hearing her speculation that the Lannisters were behind the assassination attempt on Bran, Theon said that he would stand beside Robb to defend the Starks - at which Maester Luwin interjected, asking if he thought a war would break out in the godswood. In this episode, the war literally comes to the Winterfell godswood, the same dagger comes back to the heart tree, and Theon dies defending Bran Stark.
    • It is unknown if George R.R. Martin told the showrunners in Season 1 that any of this will happen in a future book. He later did tell them his outline for future books, after Season 3 - though he might have included some early setup in Season 1 that they didn't know the significance of at the time. Alternatively, if the events surrounding the defeat of the White Walkers were drastically changed from how it will happen in future books, then the earlier Season 1 scene couldn't have been meant as foreshadowing when it was made (as the new TV ending could only have been made after Martin told the showrunners the book ending, after Season 3). It is still unknown if the showrunners were intentionally referencing the scene from Season 1's "The Kingsroad".
  • Melisandre reminds Arya what the former told her in "The Climb" - that they would meet again, that Arya would shut many eyes forever.
  • Melisandre refers to Davos's threat to kill her if she ever returns to the North ("The Winds of Winter").
  • Arya hands Sansa a dragonglass dagger. Sansa says she does not know how to use it, and Arya gives her the same advice Jon gave her in "The Kingsroad" - "stick them with the pointy end".
  • Tyrion and Varys relate to Battle of the Blackwater; the Hound is dismayed by the fire, as happened to him in that battle ("Blackwater").
  • Melisandre and Arya say the same sentences Syrio Forel and Arya told each other in "The Pointy End" - "What do we say to the God of Death? Not today".
  • The trick Arya uses to kill the Night King is the same trick she used while sparring with Brienne in "The Spoils of War".
  • Tyrion's prediction made during the vigil in "A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms" comes true: all those who were present at the vigil (Jaime, Podrick, Davos, Brienne, Tormund, and Tyrion himself) survive the battle.

Language notes[]

Linguist David J. Peterson posted extensive notes about the constructed language lines used in this episode. As he explained, the languages, in general, were quite limited in Season 8, due to fears about security: the scripts and audio files needed to train the actors would be easier to leak out. Thus they mostly limited Dothraki and Valyrian to short phrases already used on the TV show, generic enough that it didn't give away plot points ("form up!", "retreat!", etc.). Peterson provided transcriptions and translations of the new lines in this episode:[13]

Dothraki:

  • Jorah: "Livano arakh shafki!"
  • Translation: "Raise your arakhs (swords)!"

Peterson noted that the script he was given attributed this line to Daenerys, not Jorah. He said he wasn't sure if this meant that Daenerys was the one Melisandre encountered in an early draft but this was later change - or, if the writing staff intentionally mislabeled the script, to spread disinformation to potential leakers.

High Valyrian:

  • Melisandre: "Āeksios Ōño, aōhos ōñoso īlōn jehikās! Āeksios Ōño, īlōn mīsās! Kesrio syt bantis zōbrie issa se ossȳngnoti lēdys!"
  • Translation: "Lord of Light, cast your light upon us! Lord of Light, defend us! For the night is dark and full of terrors!"

Melisandre says this full prayer when she lights the swords on fire. Later when she strains to light the trench on fire, she repeats, "Āeksios Ōno, ilōn misās!" ("Lord of Light, defend us!")

Astapori Low Valyrian:

  • Grey Worm: "Mizadá vi zdaguno! Jemel ovadá he ji ghamvaz!"
  • Translation: "Protect the retreat! Stand your ground!"

Peterson has always maintained that actor Jacob Anderson has pronounced Valyrian better than anyone else in the cast, and he made sure to pick out a good line to show off his good pronunciation in this episode. Peterson did note, however, that some of the background Unsullied extras repeated "zdaguno!" - technically incorrect, as this means the noun, "(a) retreat!", not the verb "retreat!". Peterson noted that the command form of the verb would be "zdagó, or probably zdagodó".

Image darkness[]

  • Director Miguel Sapochnik said in interviews that the showrunners insisted on filming the biggest TV battle in history - as in, with the largest number of actual extras fighting on-location, avoiding the use of CGI as much as possible. Moreover, they filmed at night, and only used natural lighting from the fires, instead of using a day for night light filter in post production. Many major review sites (New York Times, Variety, etc.) pointed out that it was frequently difficult to see what's going on during the battle.[14]
    • The showrunners also said they wanted to give the episode a tone similar to the Battle of Helm's Deep from the Lord of the Rings film trilogy.
  • The day after the episode premiered and generated widespread criticism about the screen being too dark to see, Slate.com ran an article explaining how several recent trends in television technology have impacted this:[15]
    • First, the shift to digital cameras (which happened between the filming of the unaired pilot and Season 1) actually makes it easier to film in low lighting, so there has been a widespread shift among prestige drama to show off that they can do this.
    • Second, the shift from older cathode ray TVs to High Definition digital TVs.
    • Third, the massive shift to streaming service platforms in the past few years. Streaming services use a compression/decompression cycle for information, to use as little bandwidth as possible, but every time a video file goes through this "lossy compression," the image quality gets worse - and the effect is particularly drastic when it comes to low-light images.

In the books[]

Main page: Differences in adaptation/Game of Thrones: Season 8#"The Long Night"

Gallery[]

Videos[]

Images[]

References[]

Notes[]

  1. In "Winter Is Coming," which takes place in 298 AC, Sansa Stark tells Cersei Lannister that she is 13 years old and Bran Stark tells Jaime Lannister that he is 10 years old. Arya Stark was born between Sansa and Bran, making her either 11 or 12 in Season 1. The rest of the Stark children have been aged up by 2 years from their book ages, so it can be assumed that she is 11 in Season 1. Arya is 18 in Season 8 according to HBO, which means at least 7 years occur in the span of the series; therefore, each season of Game of Thrones must roughly correspond to a year in-universe, placing the events of Season 8 in 305 AC.

External links[]


Advertisement