(Editor’s note: Do not read any further if you intend to watch but have not seen Game of Thrones episode “The Long Night.” Major spoilers ahead.)
Halfway through the final season of HBO’s Game of Thrones, the show delivered its darkest (literally) and most ambitious episode to date, aptly titled “The Long Night.”
I enjoyed every minute of the extended episode despite the head-scratching decisions of some of the characters.
For example, shouldn’t someone explain to the Dothraki that a good defense is sometimes the best offense?
To me, there were obvious winners and losers among the main characters.
Here’s my take on the five winners and the five losers of “The Long Night.”
- Arya Stark: You go, girl. Arya’s stunningly stealthy stab of the Night King saved everyone who could be saved. She fought like a boss throughout the episode and would have made her father Ned proud. Easily, the hero of “The Long Night” … and possibly the entire series. Still, I can’t help but feel that Jon deserved the honor of battling the Night King.
- Jorah Mormont: Chalk one up for the old man. Jorah saved Daenerys in a brutal man-versus-undead showdown, demonstrating the meaning of sacrifice and love.
- Lyanna Mormont: The young Lady of Bear Island plunges a knife into the eyeball of a zombie giant as it squeezes the life from her. Her epic scream and charge of the giant were as awesome as the killing blow.
- Melisandre: The Red Woman lit it up – not once but twice. After magically lighting up swords and trenches, Melisandre showed Arya a different kind of light – the light of destiny.
- Theon Greyjoy: Theon’s fatal charge at the Night King to protect Bran may not have redeemed the Greyjoy for all the horrible deeds that he committed against the Starks, but no one tried harder for redemption. The most emotional moment in “The Long Night” for me was when Bran tells Theon, “You’re a good man. Thank you.” The look in Theon’s tear-dimmed eyes is heartbreaking.
- Davos Seaworth: A character I admire, Davos spent most of “The Long Night” giving Melisandre stern looks. Not his finest hour.
- Jon Snow: Jon (aka Aegon Targaryen) looked lost riding around on a dragon (and later running from a dragon). However, trying to sneak up on the Night King among a horde of potential undead was foolhardy at best, albeit not as foolhardy as the Dothraki charge.
- Samwell Tarly: You should have gone to the crypt, my friend. A character I adore, Sam was way out of his element in battle. After a friend died saving him, Sam ran away and seemed to spend most of the episode cringing in terror. But I have to give him props for showing up to the fight.
- Sansa Stark: In the crypt and out of the action.
- Tyrion Lannister: See Sansa.