So here we are. The Battle for the Dawn was won, and the Night King is officially no more. After all the squabbling over Azor Ahai and the Prince(ss) who was Promised, it ended up being Arya Stark who saved the Seven Kingdoms, taking out the Night King with the signature two-handed move she showed off last season dueling Brienne of Tarth. Overall, “The Long Night” proved to be a tumultuous journey, and while it definitely had its shortcomings (seriously, Jon, you’re going to scream at a dragon?), there were plenty of stellar moments in the longest-ever Game of Thrones episode. Here are the highlights.
Melisandre Lights Up the Dothraki Army
Okay, so turning the entire Dothraki army into cannon fodder in like five minutes is problematic on like five different levels when you consider the racial politics of the situation. That said, this scene was still badass. Yeah, maybe the nighttime setting of the battle made the action a little hard to follow at times, but sometimes the darkness paid off and this was definitely one of those times.
So Much for the Light Brigade
After the awesome lighting ceremony and the epic cavalry charge, the “woah” quickly morphed to “oh NO” as the lights went out and then, after a tense silence, the dregs of the cavalry charge came fleeing back from the wight army. Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit.
The Dragons Join the Fray
Back in season 7, the Battle of the Goldroad gave us a good taste of the epic content that a full-blown battle sequence featuring a dragon could be, but “The Long Night” dialed the dragon content up to 11, from Jon and Daenerys tag-teaming the wight frontlines to that dragon-vs.-dragon mid-air showdown. It does raise the question of why they didn’t send out the dragons to flambé the giant zombie army before they made it to Winterfell’s literal doorstep, but then again we are talking about the same strategic team who didn’t think of the possible incompatibility between fighting a guy who can reanimate the dead and hiding all the unarmed, vulnerable people in a crypt, so I guess they were at the very least consistent.