Opinion: Game of Thrones raised the bar with The Long Night


With millions of Game of Thrones fans watching “The Long Night,” people are bound to have strong opinions — just ask Twitter.

You’ve been waiting for this Game of Thrones moment since the first time you saw episode 1 (whenever you may have seen it.) Some of you have been waiting for this moment since you first picked up one of George R. R. Martin’s novels.

The Battle of freaking Winterfell. The Great War.

It took 11 weeks to film, entirely at night. It cost more than $15 million to make. It took over 750 actors and crew members to make. It was the longest battle ever shown on television.

It made history.

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When this many people are emotionally involved in something like a show of Game of Thrones’ stature, people will have a ton of strong opinions.

The general consensus I’m seeing is that it was incredible, with some criticisms. But hey, you can’t please everyone.

“It was too dark.”

I hear this a lot, and I definitely agree. I got to test-drive my brand-new 65-inch TV with The Battle of Winterfell, so at first, I thought I needed to mess around with the settings.

But, I think it was meant to be that way. The entire battle took place at night. How else would we see the contrast between fire and ice? The dark was the only way to do it.

It was disorienting, not knowing who was dying, who was surviving, where these creatures were coming from, how many there are. It was the most real they could make it. Those on the battlefield had no idea how many there were either, so it was like we were on the battlefield with them.

So, my advice is to adjust your settings for your next viewing of the episode, because we all know you’ll watch it again!

“Bran just sat there the entire episode.”

Well, what else is he going to do – get up and run? Last night I was annoyed that Bran just warged the whole time. But I wasn’t thinking straight from exhaustion.

There is no way he warged throughout the entire battle without some sort of purpose. I’m sure whatever that was, we will find out in one of the next three episodes.

“All that build up and the Night King dies in episode 3?”

I’m entirely cool with the Night King dying the way he did and when he did.

I know the Night King is the biggest, baddest mofo in the Seven Kingdoms and all, and was the most pressing threat. But this show is really about the fight for the Iron Throne. Um, hello? It’s the title of the whole series!

If the “Night King is Not Stupid” theory had come to fruition, I would have been disappointed. I would have been bummed if we didn’t get to see Cersei and Daenerys battle it out. I would have been crushed if we didn’t know how the conflict between Daenerys and Jon played out.

So, now that all of humanity is saved, we can get on with why we’re really here.

“So, is the ‘Prince Who was Promised’ theory abandoned?”

Game of Thrones fans have suspected for a long time that the “Prince Who was Promised” was either Jon Snow or Daenerys.

The novels say that the “prince” would be the second coming of Azor Ahai, who defeated the Night King thousands of years before. And Rhaegar Targaryen (Jon’s father) knew he had to have another son that would be the next Azor Ahai.

But if Arya is the one who killed the Night King, does that make her the Prince who was Promised? I don’t think so.

First, Arya doesn’t fit the description. She was born at Winterfell to Ned and Catelyn Stark.

Jon, however, was born right next to Arthur Dayne’s sword, also named “Dawn” which legend says is made from the heart of a fallen star. Remember, Melisandre’s prophecy said, “When the red star bleeds, and the darkness gathers, Azor Ahai shall be born again amidst smoke and salt to wake dragons out of stone.” The sword is made from a star and covered in blood.

The prophecy could also be speaking about Daenerys, who was born in Dragonstone, and her dragons were born amidst the smoke.

Jon is the one who gathered troops and convinced almost everyone to fight the Night King. He may not have defeated him himself, but Arya did, and she wouldn’t have been at Winterfell if she hadn’t heard Jon and Sansa were there.

Final thoughts

After the dust settled from last night’s episode, my initial thoughts were jumbled. My adrenaline and blood pressure went down, and I was exhausted.

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After a day of decompressing, I realized how truly remarkable this episode was. I know each time I watch it, I will grow to love it more and appreciate it more. They have raised the bar to a point I don’t think any other TV show can ever reach.

Now, let’s gear up for the final three episodes of Game of Thrones ever!

Sources: Fox Business, Inverse

Read my reactions and surprises from “The Long Night.”