HBO's Game of Thrones is a dense series with a weighty history behind his story. So in virtually every episode, something happens that needs a little explanation. The Verge immerses each week in a scene or event of the series's latest episode and explains how we came here. Whether you are basically a Game of Thrones master or you would like to have a memory of past events, we will try to help you update your story.
Oh boy. Game of Thrones "The Long Night," the longest episode of all time, features a spectacle that was seen as a battle that has never been seen on television. (Depending on your TV set-up, it could literally have gone unnoticed ̵
Spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 3, "The Long Night"
Brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes
Okay, let's start with the big event of this episode here : Arya kills the Night King. But as she emerged from nowhere to stab the dreaded leader of the White Walkers, her role in the story had been sown for years, and her faceless man training and predicting her Valyrian steel dagger gave her all the tools.
But as the episode reminds us, the prelude to the Big Kill goes back even further – to season 3, episode 6, when Melisandre meets Arya for the first time and publishes a prophecy: "I see a darkness in you. And in that darkness my eyes stared at me: brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes. Eyes that you will close forever We will meet again.
As it turned out, the promised reunification came at the Battle of Winterfell. And the blue eyes that Arya had closed forever were the Night Kings, along with all the other men and White Walkers, all from him.
The Red Woman and the Onion Knight
But where did Melisandre suddenly come from? The enigmatic Red Priestess of R & # 39; hllor (also known as The Lord of Light) returns this week after spending most of her last two seasons doing nothing after resuming her quest to rejoin Jon Snow at the beginning of season six. Melisandre has been far from the young woman she seems to be. Her magic is embedded in her jewelry chain – when she removes her, she takes her true form back to an incredibly old woman.
Her magic might have been somewhat unpredictable in the series, perhaps because of her old age: while she was able to bring Jon Snow back and murder Renly Baratheon with a Shadow Baby. Her other attempts to conjure and communicate with her god were less successful – as if Stannis had killed his only daughter, Shireen, to ensure a military victory against her, the Bolts, whom he was unable to secure. Shireen's murder (and the lackluster advice given by Melisandre Stannis) are the main reasons why the normally calm and friendly Ser Davos promised to kill Melisandre.
These trends also return in this episode: Melisandre can light the blades of the Dothraki Warriors easily, but spends important seconds trying to ignite the ditches around Winterfell to block the heavy assault in the battle. And in the end, it seems her strength is exhausted, or she feels that her intention has been fulfilled: she takes off her necklace one last time and dies at the end of the battle in front of the gate of Winterfell.
Theon Greyjoy's Apology Tour
While Bran Stark's battle plan is utterly puzzling – as anything Bran does and says at this point in his role as a mystical three-eyed raven – part of his strategy is clear: he's clear on Theon Leaving Greyjoy for his personal defense as the forces of Winterfell try to lure the Night King into a trap.
At first glance, this might seem like a strange step, as Theon betrayed Bran in the second season as Deputy Lord of Winterfell in the absence of his brother Robb Stark, who fought as king to the north in the War of the Five Kings. Theon sells Bran to enchant his strange father Balon Greyjoy, though that does not work because Balon is a kind of tail.
Nevertheless, Theon Winterfell attacks, breaks the trust of the family, which has promoted and raised him. But he saw no joy in his conquest: House Bolton gained control of Winterfell and the North, leading to Theon's years of abuse at Ramsay Bolton.
But at least Theon could say that he did not kill Bran or his younger brother Rickon, who later died anyway, in Ramsay's hands. Instead, he secretly released her. And when he helped Sansa escape Ramsay, rescue his sister Yara, return to Winterfell to fight the undead, and defend Bran with his life, Theon finally earned her praise and a sense of redemption, even against the night King.
The Seven Lives of Lightning Lord
Beric Dondarrion is no wonder, but he may be next: If Jon Snow died and was brought back only once, Beric was revived by his friend, the Red Priest, Thoros of Myr six times. Presumably, his last death came to this episode, since both Thoros and Melisandre are dead now.
Throughout the series, Beric has assumed that the Lord of Light has brought him to life for all these purposes for a great purpose. This week, we figured out what it was: Beric saved Arya's life against a group of wins and let her fight so she could kill the Night King, apparently forever.
That may seem anti-climatic, considering how fast this happens and that he does not even see the impact of his victim. But his protection of Arya speaks for something more significant – the correspondence between the prophecies that Melisandre had from the Lord of Light and those that Thoros had. Together, they have a dramatic theological impact on the entire world of Westeros, suggesting that a greater power is at work with a divine plan.
The Fall of the Night King
The Night King is dead, not killed by dragon fire or any other esoteric magic, but by a valyrian steel blade on his chest. And though it may seem like a coincidence that Arya could succeed where all other attempts to destroy the Night King have failed, it could be more. In season 6, episode 5, Bran has a vision in which he experiences the creation of the Night King by the children of the forest. It was originally intended as a weapon to destroy humanity, which injures the children's land and destroys their sacred Weirwood trees. But the child plan was shot down spectacularly .
In this vision, Bran sees a man stabbed in the chest next to a Weirwood tree by a dragonglass dagger, creating the Night King, the original White Walker, who gave birth to all the other White Walkers and Wights.
It's no coincidence that similar conditions prevailed when Arya killed the Night King: a bump in front of a Weirwood tree. Looking closer at the deadly moment, Arya even seems to stab the Night King in the same place he was wounded to do his original transformation.
In fact, given Bran's seemingly advanced predictive abilities and the fact that he gave Arya the ability In the seventh season, it was quite possible that this fight was only the last step in a long-term plan to put the Night King in condition to lure, under which Arya could destroy him once and for all.
What are the Weirwoods for?
But that brings us to the play that was not worth the effort: the Weirwood Trees themselves. The entire run of Game of Thrones refers to a greater power in Weirwood, including popular theory, that Bran could somehow use them to burn the wounds to death. But after all the foreseen and flaming spirals, after the revelation that the Weirwoods can destroy the weights, after they were both connected to the Westerosi religion and prehuman magic, these clues seem nowhere to go. It's easy to imagine an end to Bran activating the latent magic of the Weirwoods and destroying the Night King as soon as he's lured to sacred ground. That would be his own way of tying the Night King's death until his birth. But apparently not. That was a lot of setup for surprisingly small profits.