News

The 11 Biggest Moments from Game of Thrones’ Most Epic Episode Ever

“Arya Stark” becomes a verb, a dragon fight, and sacrifices made are among the episode’s highlights.

by | April 28, 2019 | Comments

Melisandre, Arya, and The Hound in Game of Thrones episode 3, season 8 (HBO)

(Photo by HBO)

The Long Night” will go down in television history as the Game of Thrones episode that made “Arya Stark” a verb.

Episode 3 of season 8 started slow on Sunday night, opening as if from the backstage of a play, with all of the players grabbing their props and – “Places everyone!” – moving to their marks. It is called a theater of war, after all. The curtain raised on the first highlight of the night:


1. Setting the Scene: The Frontlines

Game of Thrones season 8, episode 3 (HBO)

(Photo by HBO)

Taking their position as wight-fodder in this fight: the Unsullied led by Grey Worm, the Dothraki (including the tall one, Qhono, played by Staz Nair, in case you ever wondered), Podrick Payne, Brienne of Tarth, Jaime Lannister, Tormund Giantsbane, Ser Beric Dondarrion, The Hound, Gendry, Edd Tollett, Samwell Tarly, Ghost! (hereafter with an exclamation point), Ser Jorah Mormont.

Meanwhile, Jon and Daenerys survey the scene from the distance with dragons Drogon and Rhaegal. Sansa, Arya, and Ser Davos are on the ramparts when a lone rider appears.


2. Red Woman on a White Field

Game of Thrones season 8, episode 3 (Helen Sloan/HBO)

(Photo by Helen Sloan/HBO)

Melisandre rides in out of nowhere and says, all casual, to Ser Jorah: “Do you speak their tongue? Tell them to lift their swords.”

Speaking a spell/prayer in High Valyrian and grasping Quono’s arakh, she sets the Dothraki swords – all of them! – on fire. If only Ser Jorah had Heartsbane out at the time.

She rides on, drops the mic in front of Grey Worm, and says: “Valar morghulis.” Grey Worm: “Valar dohaeris.” Enough said.

The fact that Melisandre shows up isn’t as disturbing as what she says to Ser Davos: That he needn’t bother executing her, because she’d be dead before dawn.

An aside: Watching the Dothraki flaming swords get extinguished in the dark is devastating with the final flames frantically slashing as they sputter. And that Ser Jorah and Ghost went with them is, in that moment, heartbreaking. Jorah and a few Dothraki horses and men return, but not Ghost.


3. He Who Chose Edd in the Office Death-Watch Pool Wins

Game of Thrones season 8, episode 3 (Helen Sloan/HBO)

(Photo by Helen Sloan/HBO)

Edd Tollet is the first named character to die on screen – maybe. It’s so dark, that I can’t tell wight from warrior. So many were slaughtered before Daenerys and Jon showed up with Drogon and Rhaegal and set fire to the field, we may have missed one.

Brienne saves Jaime, Jaime saves Brienne, Edd saves Sam. Podrick, Gendry, The Hound – all slashing at a tsunami of undead.


4. She-Bear in Charge

Game of Thrones season 8, episode 3 (HBO)

(Photo by HBO)

“Open the gate,” Lyanna Mormont screams as the live fighters retreat into Winterfell. Can’t help but think that Jorah was absolutely right: This is no place for Lyanna, the future of her house. Listen to your elders, girl. She later takes down the wight Giant with dragonglass to the eyeball when he attempts to snack on her, but dies in the process. If you were hoping she would be only mostly dead, you’d be disappointed later in the episode.


5. You Had One Job, Daenerys

Game of Thrones season 8, episode 3 (HBO)

(Photo by HBO)

Sure, the Unsullied in perfect formation even in the midst of madness was an impressive sight to see, but they also look an awful lot like future wights for all their heroism. They back up against spikes in the trenches that are supposed to be set aflame. Daenerys doesn’t see the signal, flaming arrows from the ramparts keep going out before they can catch, and the wights keep taking out the runners with torches.

Melisandre saves everyone’s asses (for the time being) by lighting the trench with her spell/prayer.


6. The Night King Arrives

Maisie Williams as Arya Stark episode 3, season 8 Game of Thrones (Helen Sloan/HBO)

(Photo by Helen Sloan/HBO)

The Night King flies in on a high pressure storm front and, with a wave of his hand, commands his followers to create wight bridges over the trench fires, so that the others can climb over them. The zombies crawl up and over the walls World War Z style.

Arya fighting on the wall is awe-inspiring and strikes Ser Davos silent. It also prompts The Hound to get his ass in gear to save her.


7. “Not Today”

Game of Thrones season 8, episode 3 (Helen Sloan/HBO)

(Photo by Helen Sloan/HBO)

Arya plays a deadly game of hide-and-seek with the wights who have made it inside Winterfell.

There are too many of them. So now we know what was obscured in the darkness of the trailer: dozens of wights chasing our petite hero.

When Beric and The Hound later come to her rescue, it’s almost as if Arya had given up. She stares almost helplessly when wights attack Beric, which is very unlike her. The trio retreats to a room where Melisandre has been hiding/waiting for them, and Beric dies.

“What do we say to the god of death?” Melisandre asks Arya, which immediately summons the ghost of Syrio Forel (not literally).

Arya: “Not today.”

Game of Thrones season 1 Syrio and Arya (HBO)

(Photo by HBO)


8. Dragon Fight!

Game of Thrones season 8, episode 3 (HBO)

(Photo by HBO)

The dragons in the moonlight above the storm clouds is a beautiful image – this-dragon-moment-is-brought-to-you-by-Hallmark beautiful. But the scene later turns deadly as Jon and Rhaegal lock together in dragon battle against the Night King and wight dragon Viserion, who tears at his brother’s flesh and snaps his jaws at snack-sized Jon on Rhaegal’s back. The Night King tries to be smooth and grabs for his ice spear, but falls off (not to his death, of course – because that would be too easy).

The scene of Winterfell from the air at this point, by the way, looks like a nighttime Burning Man riot: a circle of fire and waves of bodies flowing this way and that.

Rhaegal goes down and Jon tumbles off. Daenerys tries dragonfire on the Night King on the ground, but he does not burn (like a Targaryen). She retreats when he aims a spear her way, but Jon pursues him on foot with Longclaw. The Night King raises a new army from the freshly dead, including those inside Winterfell – including, they make a point to show, Lyanna, Qhono, and Edd. Was that Podrick standing behind the Night King before he pimp-walked away? OMG, where’s Podrick?

Wights, meanwhile, swarm Drogon, and Daenerys falls off.


9. Tales from the Crypt

Game of Thrones season 8, episode 3 (Helen Sloan/HBO)

(Photo by Helen Sloan/HBO)

Tyrion laments that he’s not out there. Sansa says he’d be dead. Then he suggests they should’ve stayed married. She rightly notes his divided loyalties (aka “You loooove her, you want to marry her…”) for Daenerys.

The dead rise in the crypt of Winterfell even (thanks for the heads-up, Jared Harris), and dusty, ancient Starks start tearing at people.

Next time, maybe freeze them in carbonite?


10. Theon and Jorah

Game of Thrones season 8, episode 3 (Helen Sloan/HBO)

(Photo by Helen Sloan/HBO)

The Night King swaggers into the godswood with his court. Bran: “Theon, you’re a good man. Thank you.” Theon charges the Night King and gets a spear thrust into his side.

Elsewhere, when a wight wave threatens to overcome Daenerys, Ser Jorah puts himself between them and her and is mortally (maybe, probably) wounded protecting her. He leans on Heartsbane in his final stand.


11. “Arya Stark” Becomes a Verb

Game of Thrones season 8, episode 3 (HBO)

(Photo by HBO)

Holy sh–! Arya killed the Night King. She takes a flying leap and, despite being caught by the throat, still manages to thrust that ancient Valyrian-steel dagger into his belly. (To “Arya Stark” someone will forever refer to that move.) He explodes, his court explodes, Viserion (who Jon has been dodging all this time) collapses to the ground in a pile of loose bones and ragged flesh, as do all of the other wights.

(We heard echos of Jon’s voice: “How did you sneak up on me?”)

Game of Thrones season 8, episode 3 (Helen Sloan/HBO)

(Photo by Helen Sloan/HBO)

There’s a roll call of who’s still alive: Arya, Bran, Daenerys, Jorah (until he’s not), Drogon, Jon, Tormund, Gendry, Grey Worm, Brienne, Jaime, Podrick, Tyrion, Sansa, Varys, his new little crypt birds, Missandei, Gilly and Little Sam (did anyone see Samwell Tarly in the roll call?), The Hound, Melisandre (until she isn’t), and Ser Davos. Where’s Ghost!? Did Rhaegal survive?

I hit “replay.”

What was your favorite moment of the episode? Tell us in the comments!

Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.



Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.

Tag Cloud

HBO quibi IFC Films 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards target 72 Emmy Awards docuseries Pride Month Baby Yoda Shondaland twilight dexter Paramount Plus documentary BBC Acorn TV Broadway Marvel Television VICE scary mission: impossible Apple TV+ E3 toy story Showtime President Adult Swim Musicals rt archives true crime BBC America archives golden globe awards medical drama laika TIFF witnail spanish Superheroes HBO Go 2015 new zealand FXX Emmys 007 cartoon child's play suspense Endgame crime drama halloween tv science fiction critics Box Office revenge hist Oscars spider-man CW Seed Musical scary movies festival Chilling Adventures of Sabrina franchise hispanic heritage month Film Lifetime Christmas movies DC Comics Lifetime werewolf composers dc BBC One latino Valentine's Day Binge Guide toronto PaleyFest international psychological thriller dogs TV renewals Interview adenture indie Legendary FX on Hulu spanish language Disney Plus Disney Channel spy thriller SundanceTV films Year in Review critic resources all-time Spring TV sag awards streaming movies kaiju game of thrones AMC Plus BAFTA venice ITV scorecard Rocky rotten movies we love Reality Nat Geo fresh PBS Music Crunchyroll SXSW Exclusive Video USA Network dramedy X-Men E! TCA Winter 2020 Avengers Watching Series Mindy Kaling harry potter Bravo screen actors guild comiccon know your critic jamie lee curtis VH1 canceled CBS All Access Apple Sony Pictures Chernobyl Tokyo Olympics Peacock singing competition The Witch Heroines Britbox Rocketman popular Walt Disney Pictures YA Hulu Set visit Spike screenings Mary Poppins Returns spider-verse Holidays YouTube Premium Pixar Amazon Studios Women's History Month PlayStation genre mockumentary YouTube Red romantic comedy romance Creative Arts Emmys talk show robots Pop canceled TV shows slasher Pacific Islander cars Thanksgiving Polls and Games debate joker Epix documentaries saw Netflix crime thriller ghosts crime cinemax live action diversity Mudbound Action vampires 2018 women 2017 Stephen King reviews new star wars movies ViacomCBS classics WarnerMedia Quiz Sundance south america Ghostbusters Countdown Wes Anderson emmy awards 2016 concert Tarantino HBO Max CBS psycho Alien TV One Winners Summer Elton John jurassic park TBS Extras VOD Spectrum Originals stoner TV movies comic American Society of Cinematographers Podcast BET Awards Cosplay green book Star Wars die hard Toys Mystery new york natural history Photos book Masterpiece Ovation marvel comics Neflix CMT wonder woman Red Carpet Grammys football Kids & Family YouTube Food Network New York Comic Con TNT Song of Ice and Fire MCU Lucasfilm sopranos period drama Paramount asian-american biography A24 zombies The Walking Dead Emmy Nominations Freeform feel good police drama MSNBC french indiana jones sitcom Calendar tv talk Writers Guild of America renewed TV shows Super Bowl Brie Larson RT History black CNN Nominations ABC Vudu ABC Family FX TV dragons leaderboard historical drama Awards Tour justice league sequels book adaptation best Video Games Discovery Channel travel Comic-Con@Home 2021 italian Fantasy australia Disney+ Disney Plus criterion El Rey political drama teaser SDCC king kong nature 93rd Oscars war anime 20th Century Fox Funimation 73rd Emmy Awards Dark Horse Comics comic books live event Apple TV Plus Image Comics Certified Fresh satire video Fox News Warner Bros. prank blockbusters APB GoT elevated horror Tubi directors lord of the rings Mary poppins TCM Family Amazon marvel cinematic universe vs. godzilla Cartoon Network TCA Crackle news disaster heist movie breaking bad hollywood Syfy dceu Classic Film FOX art house animated based on movie 90s A&E 24 frames Fargo movie adaptation unscripted trailers foreign comic book movie crossover hispanic superhero hidden camera cops Paramount Network ABC Signature The Walt Disney Company Fall TV binge doctor who Teen Arrowverse Captain marvel rotten cooking Election cancelled TV shows mob zero dark thirty 99% kids DC streaming service richard e. Grant Comedy Central comedies LGBT 1990s cancelled TV series docudrama what to watch Hallmark ID legend halloween comic book movies action-comedy reboot Trophy Talk independent dark NBA Instagram Live series Character Guide Pet Sematary thriller universal monsters pirates of the caribbean Infographic First Reviews Esquire Tumblr superman sports Best and Worst slashers Martial Arts Comics on TV theme song high school 71st Emmy Awards worst king arthur WGN DirecTV technology transformers remakes Opinion Rom-Com worst movies Television Critics Association The Arrangement serial killer Sundance Now OWN award winner obituary trophy IMDb TV adventure Schedule japan deadpool cats Drama finale stop motion golden globes Marvel aapi Cannes Animation NBC stand-up comedy a nightmare on elm street cults The CW rt labs critics edition Amazon Prime Universal cancelled television free movies mutant LGBTQ BET Logo Disney Fox Searchlight 45 monster movies posters Sundance TV Hear Us Out TV Land telelvision dreamworks boxoffice Rock Film Festival RT21 Shudder miniseries Trivia Ellie Kemper USA blaxploitation Pirates DC Universe 21st Century Fox ESPN Star Trek Hallmark Christmas movies aliens nbcuniversal olympics rom-coms Marathons AMC social media name the review MTV biopic casting Starz Sneak Peek See It Skip It kong Premiere Dates Anna Paquin Turner Classic Movies politics zombie Columbia Pictures space The Academy Tomatazos children's TV ratings royal family movies razzies scene in color GIFs boxing gangster NYCC Amazon Prime Video discovery Horror Comedy anthology fast and furious Christmas comics Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt festivals Country 4/20 TCA Awards spinoff History Superheroe Black Mirror Universal Pictures rt labs Travel Channel television The Purge video on demand Academy Awards Holiday Lionsgate Disney streaming service Trailer chucky Winter TV nfl parents 2019 TruTV versus black comedy Awards TLC Pop TV christmas movies cancelled Sci-Fi Black History Month basketball Reality Competition National Geographic Netflix Christmas movies game show blockbuster First Look Turner streaming batman spain Comic Book Marvel Studios Nickelodeon mcc 2020 2021 young adult Biopics Television Academy supernatural Mary Tyler Moore OneApp Western sequel TCA 2017 facebook DGA strong female leads james bond GLAAD japanese San Diego Comic-Con IFC