Game of Thrones Battle of Winterfell: Arya Stark Is Our Queen
Game of Thrones‘ much-hyped Battle of Winterfell has come to an icy end.
Most of the hour and 22 minute episode was much too dark to even tell what was happening, and even when we could see, it was chaos. Just absolute human vs. zombie chaos, with some occasional dragon vs. dragon chaos thrown in, and a whole lot of clouds. We really, truly got to know the inside of some clouds.
But in the end, we could tell exactly what was happening, and it was epic as f–k.
The Night King really was just after Bran, and while Theon did his best to stop the guy (RIP Theon), it looked like Bran was about to die on the Night King’s sword…until Arya leapt in out of absolutely nowhere. The Night King caught her by the neck, causing her to drop the knife, which she then caught, and used to stab him anyway. He shattered into a million icy pieces, and was quickly followed by his entire army, including his dragon. Byyye.
ARYA F–KING STARK, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN.
We can’t tell you how much we didn’t think they’d get rid of the Night King like that, but here we are, with the Arm of the Dead vanquished and really none of the answers we were seeking about what, exactly, he wanted with Bran, other than to steal humanity’s memories or whatever.
We’re also not sure of everyone who’s dead, but we know some.
The first actual thing that happened (after several minutes of everyone just quietly waiting) was Melisandre arriving on horseback, along with Ghost, to give the Dothraki army swords of fire. She then met up with Davos (awkward, since she was responsible for burning Shireen alive) and told him not to worry, she’d be dead by dawn anyway.
The Dothraki were the first to charge the army of wights, and all we saw was all of the lit swords going out, one by one, before all hell broke loose. It was just a mess of fighting up until Melisandre did her thing again and lit the trench on fire, keeping the wights and white walkers waiting behind it.
Bran also did his thing, warging into a raven to check on the Night King, who appeared to be chilling in a cloud, right up until he and his zombie dragon showed up to the fight. It was around that time that the zombies figured out that if enough of them sacrificed themselves to the fiery trench, others could walk over them, which worked, and then it was back to chaos again.
Arya did some flipping and some stabbing and very very narrowly escaped a library full of white walkers, with some eventual help from Beric and the Hound, but it was Lyanna who got the first major kill as the zombie giant picked her up and began crushing her, so she stabbed it right in the bright blue eyeball in exchange. She died, but she died a hero.
The living dragons went up against their zombie brother and fought until both Jon Snow and the Night King had fallen off their perches, and Dany tried to set the Night King on fire, but he didn’t burn. So Jon Snow grabbed his sword and jogged right towards the guy right as said guy lifted his arms and caused alllllll the dead to rise…including the dead in the crypt.
No one had really been doing much in the crypt, other than Tyrion, who just complained about being in the crypt. But we all knew that the crypt wouldn’t be safe because it’s full of dead people and also because everyone kept saying the crypt would be so safe, so honestly, if the dead hadn’t risen in there, it would have actually been disappointing. And it still was disappointing, because the dead rose, but we didn’t see any recognizable Starks among them, so no one had to face down a headless Ned Stark zombie or even Lyanna Stark, as we had all been hoping for, while also dreading it.
While, again, we don’t know who all is dead yet, we know a few of the main characters:
Ed Tollett died in the early battle.
Lyanna Mormont died when the giant zombie picked her up and crushed her, but she stabbed him in the eyeball in the process.
Ser Jorah Mormont died protecting Daenerys as they fought side by side after the Night King raised all the dead.
Beric Dondarrion died protecting Arya.
After the battle, Melisandre took off the necklace keeping her young, then took off all her clothes, then went out among the dead and died of old age.
We know that Dany, Jon, Bran, Arya, Sansa, Tyrion, Varys, Missandei, and Gilly are all still alive, but many others are still unclear, and we’ll have to wait until next week to find out for sure. We’ll also need that entire week to get our heart rate to go down, probably.
Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.