Wednesday, May 8, 2019

What I’m Watching: Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones: Season 8, Episode 3 “The Long Night” (B+)

I managed to see this episode in the midst of the Tribeca Film Festival when my gracious hosts on Sunday night watched it with me when I arrived home at midnight. It was not, as I had joked to one of them who wanted to go to sleep instead, the most impactful episode ever that the entire series had built to, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I remember when I first noticed the White Walkers (I guess I wasn’t paying close enough attention to the pilot), I wasn’t impressed at all with the zombie focus on an otherwise great show mostly not steeped in supernatural storytelling. The beginning of this season had made it seem like it was going to be the living versus the dead, and I’m actually glad that it’s no longer the case. This episode was epic to be sure, and the large-scale battle scenes were pretty incredible. Seeing the Dothraki get wiped out as the torches went out a few at a time just moments after Melisandre magically let them all was frightening, and for the Night King to reanimate everyone on the good side who had just been killed made doom all but certain. Holding the attention of viewers during one extended battle scene for nearly ninety minutes is no easy feat, and this episode managed to do that. The big deaths everyone predicted didn’t really happen, with only Jorah and Theon as the longstanding characters to perish. Yet this show’s major deaths have all been shocking and not at all expected, and so those can be saved for the final three episodes when Cersei once again becomes the villain. It might also be that these united factions no longer seek to remain as one now that the otherworldly threat has been defeated. Arya’s last-minute takedown of the Night King was indeed formidable, and a great way to close this chapter and prepare for the second half of this season, which is sure to be unforgettable.

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